The NFL will celebrate its brightest stars of today and tomorrow with new Pro Bowl week festivities in 2017 in Orlando.
Culminating with the 2017 Pro Bowl game at Camping World Stadium on Sunday, January 29 and televised live at 7 PM CT on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, Pro Bowl week will celebrate all levels of football -- from youth to high school to the NFL's best.
The 2017 Pro Bowl will feature a return to the traditional AFC vs. NFC game format following three years using a revised, "unconferenced" format. The NFL's best will once again be in the spotlight as 88 players -- 44 from the AFC and 44 from the NFC -- are determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches.
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Ruston Webster is in his fourth season as general manager after being elevated to the role on Jan. 18, 2012. The previous two seasons (2010-11) he served as the team’s vice president of player personnel.
This past offseason saw significant change to the roster via the draft and free agency. Most significant was the ability to add a franchise quarterback in Marcus Mariota with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft. Free agency began with keeping homegrown talent OLB Derrick Morgan and also adding from other teams, including three-time Pro Bowler OLB Brian Orakpo, S Da’Norris Searcy, TE Anthony Fasano, WR Harry Douglas and CB Perrish Cox.
The 2014 offseason was noteworthy, as Webster’s leadership was significant in spearheading a coaching search that led to the hiring of Ken Whisenhunt. Leading up to the season, DT Jurrell Casey was signed to a long-term contract.
In 2013, he oversaw a free agency period that brought veteran talent and leadership to an already talented, but young roster. A total of 17 free agents were added to the roster to boost competition and add to the depth of the roster, including G Andy Levitre, DT Sammie Hill, TE Delanie Walker, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, S Bernard Pollard, S George Wilson and DL Ropati Pitoitua. Each of these veteran players played significant roles for the 2013 team. In the draft he continued to reshape the roster as the offensive line was bolstered with G Chance Warmack and C Brian Schwenke and the team also added playmaker WR Justin Hunter.
In his first offseason as general manager, Webster addressed several areas of the team through free agency, the NFL Draft and building continuity with long-term deals for core players. Speed and athleticism were added to the roster with the first-round selection of WR Kendall Wright and throughout the remainder of the draft. Prior to free agency opening in March, TE Craig Stevens signed a long-term deal and over the summer S Michael Griffin and CB Jason McCourty also signed extensions.
Prior to his arrival in Tennessee in 2010, Webster gained 22 years of personnel experience split between the Seattle Seahawks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In his four years in Seattle, Webster was the vice president of player personnel and oversaw the day-to-day management of the pro personnel and college scouting departments. Upon the departure of Tim Ruskell in December 2009, Webster was named interim general manager until John Schneider was hired to fill that role in January 2010.
Webster spent 18 years with Tampa Bay in a variety of roles, including the director of player personnel (2005), director of college scouting (2001-04), director of pro personnel (1989-91) and regional college scout (1988, Northeast; 1992, South; 1993, Midwest; 1995-2000, Southwest). He was a part of the front office staff that helped build the Super Bowl XXXVII Champion Buccaneers in 2002.
Webster started his career as a college coach with stops as a graduate assistant at Southwestern Louisiana (1985), Alabama (1986) and Tulsa (1987).
A native of Madison, Miss., Webster earned his college degree at the University of Mississippi. He and his wife, Gayle, have a daughter, Hannah, and two sons, Jacob and Drew.
GM Ruston Webster’s background:
2012-15: Tennessee Titans - General Manager
2010-11: Tennessee Titans - Vice President of Player Personnel
2006-09: Seattle Seahawks - Vice President of Player Personnel
2005: Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Director of Player Personnel
2001-04: Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Director of College Scouting
1992-00: Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Regional Scout
1989-91: Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Director of Pro Personnel
1988: Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Regional Scout
1987: Tulsa - Graduate Assistant/Tight Ends Coach
1986: Alabama - Graduate Assistant
1985: SW Louisiana - Graduate Assistant