Coaches for the Detroit Lions and New York Jets were selected by the NFL on Tuesday as the coaching staffs for the 73rd Reese's Senior Bowl next month in Mobile, Alabama.
For the first time in the college all-star game's history, the head coaches will serve in an advisory role. Lions head coach Dan Campbell and Jets head coach Robert Saleh will promote assistants on their staffs into leadership roles for the week of the game. The change is being made to offer assistants development opportunities and as a way to showcase those coaches in front of other NFL teams.
Also this year, four coaches from historically black colleges and universities will be a part of the coaching staffs to connect HBCU coaches with NFL teams in the hopes it leads to future opportunities.
"Dan Campbell and Robert Saleh's staffs will bring great intensity to our game week and our players will undoubtedly get better during their time in Mobile. Our leadership is committed to using our game's unique platform inspire change and we are excited about opportunities the new staffing model will create," Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy said in a statement.
The Lions and Jets both are scheduled to pick twice in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft. Detroit will select No. 2 overall and again later in the first round as a result of the trade that sent quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams. The spot of that second draft pick won't be determined until the Rams' postseason run is over. New York will select at No. 4 and again at No. 10, the selection the Seattle Seahawks sent to the Jets in the Jamal Adams trade.
"I know back when I was with the Rams, we were able to acquire a lot of guys that played in the Senior Bowl in that game and guys that had success. So, there is a lot of gold to be found there at that game," Lions general manager Brad Holmes said Tuesday.
Last year, a record 106 players from the Senior Bowl were selected in the NFL draft. The game is for draft prospects who have completed their college eligibility.
This will be the first time a Jets staff has coached at a Senior Bowl since 1979, when Walt Michaels was the head coach and New York selected half of the "New York Sack Exchange" in defensive linemen Marty Lyons and Mark Gastineau, who both were in the game that year. The Lions last coached in Mobile two years ago, when Matt Patricia was the team's head coach.
Both Campbell and Saleh completed their first seasons as NFL head coaches in 2021.
The game will take place on Saturday, Feb. 5, at Hancock Whitney Stadium on the South Alabama campus.
ESPN's Eric Woodyard contributed to this report.
Detroit Lions, New York Jets picked as Senior Bowl coaching staffs