NFL staffs to coach Shrine Bowl instead of Senior Bowl

NFL coaching staffs will move from the Senior Bowl to the Shrine Bowl in 2023. How will this change affect the college all-star landscape?

NFL coaching staffs will be changing all-star games in 2023. During next year’s pre-NFL draft cycle, the coaching staffs that normally lead the Senior Bowl will instead be heading to the Shrine Bowl in Las Vegas. PFN has confirmed the report, first noted by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

NFL coaching staffs will move from Senior Bowl to Shrine Bowl

Each team at the Senior Bowl has historically been managed by a complete NFL coaching staff. It’s a coveted role, as coaches at the Senior Bowl had the opportunity to work closely with incoming draft prospects.

NFL staffs were afforded the chance to coach the Senior Bowl based on the previous season’s draft order. Last year, the Jaguars (No. 1 overall pick) and Texans (No. 3) both had head coaching staff turnover. Therefore, they weren’t eligible to coach the event. Instead, the Lions (No. 2) and Jets (No. 4) were given the opportunity in Mobile, AL.

The Senior Bowl offered a twist to its 2022 coaching staff selections. In an effort to promote more diversity in the coaching ranks, the head coach of each Senior Bowl was allowed to designate one of his assistants as head coach for the week. Additionally, HBCU coaches were able to join the coaching staffs and gain valuable experience.

Every NFL team sends scouts, coaches, and/or front office members to the Senior Bowl. But the two teams that get to actively coach prospects throughout the week are given a distinct advantage come draft time. Those staffs are offered an up-close-and-personal look at that year’s crop of players in team meetings and other off-field activities.

NFL coaches are already heavily involved in leading the Shrine Bowl. However, entire staffs didn’t come together in the same way they did for the Senior Bowl. Instead, an amalgamation of NFL coaches from various teams descended on the event.

In 2022, for example, Ravens defensive backs D’Anton Lynn was the head coach for one Shrine Bowl squad, while Colts offensive coordinator Marcus Brady led the other. The coaches serving under them came from teams all over the league.

Now, in 2023, each Shrine Bowl roster will be coached by an entire NFL staff and as noted by Rapoport, the Senior Bowl will have two staffs of nominated coaches. In 2024, the rotation will switch to the Senior Bowl with full coaching staffs and the Shrine Bowl will have nominated staffs.

Rapoport also notes that the games will increase the size of the nominated coaching staffs from 26 to 30 coaches. For the nominated staffs, each non-playoff team will be required to nominate a designated minority offensive assistant.

This represents a seismic shift in the collegiate all-star game landscape and should make the Shrine Bowl more attractive for draft prospects going forward.

What is the Shrine Bowl?

The Shrine Bowl has been in existence for nearly a century, as the first game was played in San Francisco in 1925. The contest has moved locations throughout the years, but the primary mission has remained ironclad: offer a stage for the nation’s best college football prospects while benefiting charitable organizations like Shriners International and Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Shriners Children’s, a North American-based health care system, provides critical pediatric care for children in need. Children who require care for conditions such as burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip are offered assistance regardless of their financial capabilities. Shriners, a leader in medical research and education, has assisted more than 1.4 million children.

On the field, the Shrine Bowl serves as a proving ground for NFL prospects. Players get critical time with coaches and scouts during practices, the game, and in interviews. On average, more than 300 Shrine Bowl alums are on NFL rosters during a season.

In recent years, the Shrine Bowl has made several changes to accommodate prospects further. These include dividing rosters by scheme, eliminating the weigh-in event, and ending daily obligations by at least 9 p.m.

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