The Detroit Lions and head coach Matt Patricia have been chosen to coach one of the two teams for this year's Senior Bowl along with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The coaching staffs for the Senior Bowl come from teams who finished near the bottom of the league standings – Detroit finished with the league's third worst record – but whose head coach was not terminated.
The Senior Bowl is a post-season college football all-star game played each January in Mobile, Alabama, which showcases the best NFL Draft prospects who have completed their college eligibility. This year's Senior Bowl week kicks off Jan. 20. The game is played Jan. 25 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile.
The benefit of coaching the Senior Bowl is being up close and personal with these draft prospects for an entire week. Not only do coaches run them through practice, but there's invaluable time spent through the course of the week off the field with these prospects. Coaches get an inside look at how these prospects retain material and prepare in the meeting room. It's great insight to gain in the pre-draft process.
"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 in a statement. "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."
The Lions last coached the Senior Bowl in 2013 when Jim Schwartz was head coach. That week in Mobile gave them some inside information on a couple prospects that played in the game that were ultimately drafted by the team – Defensive end Ziggy Ansah (No. 5 overall) and guard Larry Warford (No. 65).
"Yeah, I've never been a part of a staff that has coached it," Lions GM Bob Quinn said when asked about the possibility Monday. "So I've heard good things, as in I know a few staff members that are currently here were on the staff the last time we had it. I think it was the year they drafted Ziggy (Ansah).
"So I've heard good things. If we get that call here in the next couple of days, we'll be excited about. Mobile is a great place to visit. I usually spend four days, what's a couple of more?"