The Senior Bowl is one of my favorite weeks of the entire calendar year and that week is coming up very soon - January 30th - February 4th, 2023. Prior to this season, the Senior Bowl invited two NFL's full team coaching staff to participate for the full week, putting the all-star teams through as close to an NFL game week as possible. The Texans coaching staff went to Mobile in 2018, where they had a chance to coach a guy by the name of Jordan Akins. They also coached a guy named Shaq Leonard too, so it worked both ways, if you catch my drift.
This year, though, the process is changing a bit down in Mobile and Las Vegas. The East-West Shrine Game takes place in Vegas a few days before things kick off in Mobile. The Falcons and Patriots coaching staffs will lead the way for the prospects in Las Vegas. So, in Mobile, it will be a coaching staff of all-stars throughout the league with one caveat - every coach will coach UP a notch.
Meaning that the head coaches down in Mobile were coordinators for their NFL teams. Bears OC (offensive coordinator) Luke Getsy will be the head coach for one team while Raiders DC (defensive coordinator) Patrick Graham will be the head coach for the other side. Former Texans RB coach Charles London who is the current QB coach for the Falcons will be the OC for one of the teams. So, both head coaches were coordinators in 2022, both coordinators were position coaches in 2022 and every position coach was an offensive/defensive assistant or analyst this past season. That way every participating coach gets an opportunity to hone their skills for a week as they move toward future promotions in the league.
Now, the good part? The Texans will have two such position coaches down in Mobile. Defensive assistant Ben Bolling will coach the linebackers for one team, while offensive assistant Jarrod James will coach the offensive line for one of the teams as well.
Before coming to Houston, Bolling spent five seasons at his alma mater Campbell University, coaching both sides of the ball in the process. He now gets a chance to coach the linebackers in Mobile, which gives him the opportunity to coach a position he's never led. James spent the 2022 season with the offensive line, for the most part, after one year as an assistant offensive line coach at Michigan State in Kenneth Walker III's incredible 2021 season. Now, Jerrod is holding the whistle and in charge down in Mobile.
There's no telling what this experience can lead to for both Ben and Jerrod, but the fact that the Senior Bowl has made such an investment in coaches is about as cool as it gets.
Congrats gentlemen! I'll see you in Mobile!
Offensive lineman Tytus Howard turned a lot of heads in the early part of 2019 with his performance at the senior bowl and the combine. (via AP Images)