MOBILE, Alabama – The Reese's Senior Bowl today announced that the NFL League Office has assigned the Cincinnati Bengals and Detroit Lions as the coaching staffs for the 71st annual Reese's Senior Bowl to be played on January 25, 2020 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. The Bengals and Lions own the Nos. 1 and 3 picks respectively in the 2020 NFL draft.
The Reese's Senior Bowl is the nation's most prestigious college all-star game because it is the only one coached by entire staffs from two National Football League clubs. The participating teams are prioritized based on the NFL draft order with the main caveat being that teams must have a full staff in place, which generally precludes teams with coaching turnover to participate, as was the case this year with the Washington Redskins, who own the No. 2 pick.
The last time the Bengals coached the Reese's Senior Bowl was 2011 under Marvin Lewis and the Lions last participated in 2013 when Jim Schwartz was the head coach.
Coaching in the Reese's Senior Bowl gives each staff a unique behind-the-scenes look at the players, not only on the field but also in the meeting rooms. This access is invaluable in the evaluation process and it has helped shape many draft classes over the years. The most recent example is this year's Oakland Raiders, who had eight Reese's Senior Bowl alums on the active roster or practice squad to end the season.
Last year, the Reese's Senior Bowl produced 93 total draft picks, including 40 in the first three rounds and 10 first-round selections. That roster included rookie standouts QB Daniel Jones (Giants), QB Drew Lock (Broncos), QB Gardner Minshew (Jaguars), WR Terry McLaurin (Redskins), WR Deebo Samuel (49ers), OL Elgton Jenkins (Packers), OL Erik McCoy (Saints), DL Montez Sweat (Redskins), DB Darnell Savage (Packers).
Statement from Reese's Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy:
"The Reese's Senior Bowl is excited to have the two teams holding the first and third overall picks in this year's draft coaching our 2020 game. The Bengals selected six players from our game last year and we know how much Coach Taylor values the competitive environment created in Mobile. Lions Head Coach Matt Patricia and I worked together years ago in New England so I know he will do a great job preparing the players for the next level."
Statement from Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor:
"Coaching in the Senior Bowl is a great opportunity for us to learn about these players. 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."
Statement from Detroit Lions Head Coach Matt Patricia:
"My staff and I welcome the opportunity to coach many of the nation's best college players at the Senior Bowl later this month. 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."