It has felt likely, but the Detroit Lions coaching staff will indeed head down to Mobile for the 2022 Senior Bowl.
The pre-draft process really gets rolling each year down in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior Bowl. The Detroit Lions’ coaching staff, under Matt Patricia, coached one of the Senior Bowl teams in 2020. They’ll do so again in 2022.
On Tuesday morning, the Senior Bowl announced the Lions and New York Jets coaching staffs have been selected to coach the teams at the event.
As passed along by Justin Rogers of The Detroit News, Lions head coach Dan Campbell acknowledged the announcement in a statement.
“We are excited to begin our 2022 offseason by coaching the Senior Bowl and getting a first-hand look at some of the top collegiate players as they prepare for the next level,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said in a statement. “My staff and I welcome this unique opportunity.”
Detroit Lions assistants getting extra benefit at Senior Bowl
As noted in the Senior Bowl’s announcement of the staffs that will coach during the week, head coaches will step into more advisory roles for the first time in the game’s history.
"For the first time in the game’s rich history, head coaches will serve in more an advisory capacity while promoting select assistants into leadership roles on the staff (e.g. running backs coach to head coach, secondary coach to defensive coordinator, etc.). This new change will offer position coaches and coordinators developmental opportunities in a setting that showcases their skills in front of peers from all 32 clubs"
For the Lions, that means assistant coaches like running backs coach Duce Staley, defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, tight ends coach Ben Johnson, defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant, wide receivers coach Antwaan Rande-El and quarterbacks coach Mark Brunell are in line for different roles as Campbell takes a step back.
The 2021 Senior Bowl yielded a record 41 percent of the players taken in last year’s draft (106), so the Lions will get a valuable up-close look at multiple players they may eventually draft. This year’s game is scheduled for Feb. 5, with some top quarterback prospects possibly on the Lions’ radar set to be in Mobile (Kenny Pickett, Malik Willis, Sam Howell, Carson Strong, Desmond Ridder) expected to participate.