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Rookies Newton, Dalton ready to shine in Hawaii

By Jaymes Song

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Jan. 26 2012 3:05 a.m. MST

"A year ago I was in Mobile, Ala., in the Senior Bowl trying to impress scouts. A year later, I'm sitting here in Hawaii at the Pro Bowl," he said. "A lot has happened and I just feel blessed to be where I am."

Dalton, a second-round selection in 2011, said making the Pro Bowl never entered his mind.

"Trying to get to the playoffs is all I was worried about. With that, I was able to get here," he said. "I feel blessed. The Lord has given me so much and it's been a big year and this is a great way to kind of end it."

Newton and Dalton greeted each other at the hotel before Wednesday's opening practice.

"We were able to come in and the teams trusted us to come in and lead the team," Dalton said. "So I think it's great. We just came out and did what we were able to do — just be ourselves and it worked out for both of us. We both came into great situations."

Dalton is joined by three Bengals: second-year defensive tackle Geno Atkins, rookie receiver A.J. Green and second-year tight end Jermaine Gresham.

"For us to be here with four guys in their first, second year, it shows the kind of young talent we have," Dalton said. "I think all four of us here, just to be around these guys that have been to the Pro Bowl a lot, it's great for us and gives us a little exposure and we can build upon this."

Newton and Dalton said they haven't experienced much hazing yet. But sometimes rookies have big food and beverage tabs that left to their rooms. So Newton will be trying to keep his room number quiet.

"Hopefully nobody tries anything," Newton said. "I'm hoping for the best."

Follow Jaymes Song at http://twitter.com/JaymesSong

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