The NFL has assigned the Cincinnati Bengals and Detroit Lions as the coaching staffs for the annual Reese’s Senior Bowl. Traditionally, the worst team from the AFC and NFC in terms are record are chosen to coach the game. There are some exceptions made when organizations are going through a coaching search. The Washington Redskins had a worse record than the Lions, but their new head coach Ron Rivera was only officially announced Jan. 1.
The 71st annual Reese’s Senior Bowl is to be played Jan. 25, 2020 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. A year ago, the game produced 93 total draft picks, including ten first-round selections. The opportunity to coach the teams presents a unique opportunity because it allows the coaches a chance to see how each player responds to coaching and might fit into their respective systems. The game is limited to seniors and prospects that have already graduated, declared for the NFL Draft.
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor issued the following statement in a press release from the Reese’s Senior Bowl.
“Coaching in the Senior Bowl is a great opportunity for us to learn about these players,” Taylor said. “You get a chance to spend a full week with the players and really learn what they’re about. We will be looking for leadership, character, and talent. To get a chance to coach them up close and in person is a great opportunity for our staff.”
Lions head coach Matt Patricia also issued a statement.
“My staff and I welcome the opportunity to coach many of the nation’s best college players at the Senior Bowl later this month,” Patricia said. “Most of us got our start in coaching at the collegiate level and we look forward to a great week in Mobile. This event has always been well-organized and provides great access that is helpful in our pre-draft evaluations.”
Cincinnati and Detroit hold the No. 1 and No. 3 overall selections respectively. The Bengals had previously coached the game in 2011 under head coach Marvin Lewis. The Lions coached the game in 2013 under head coach Jim Schwartz.
The 2020 NFL Draft begins April 23, 2020 in Las Vegas.