Having the worst record in the NFL doesn’t just ensure you have the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, it also gives you first right of refusal to coach the Reese’s Senior Bowl, an annual all-star game that takes place in Mobile, Ala. each January.
On Tuesday, the Buccaneers turned down an opportunity to coach the week of the Senior Bowl that has some fans upset. Certainly coaching the players gives the staff an opportunity to see the players up close and personal, but the amount of time spent on the field is limited to just two full padded practices. Also the Buccaneers front office, scouts and coaches will be in attendance, along with all of the other 31 NFL teams and will be viewing the practices from the sidelines and in the stands.
But most importantly the Buccaneers will have the opportunity to interview any of the players privately. Starting on the evening of the player arrivals, teams set up meetings in the team hotel where they are extensively interviewed.
Turning down the Senior Bowl coaching opportunity could signal the Buccaneers will be making other staff changes, besides the hiring of a new offensive coordinator. PewterReport.com spoke to a high-ranking Senior Bowl official last week that said they were waiting to hear from the NFL on the two coaching staffs, but that a lack of an offensive coordinator usually can be worked around. However multiple coaching changes could make it more difficult.
The Buccaneers, led by Jon Gruden, last coached the Senior Bowl following the 2004 season and saw a number of players up close and personal, including first-round pick Carnell Williams. The Buccaneers also drafted linebacker Barrett Ruud and tight end Alex Smith that year.
Current quarterbacks who have accepted invitations are East Carolina’s Shane Carden, Colorado State’s Garrett Grayson, Baylor’s Bryce Petty and Alabama’s Blake Sims. Notable Florida players who will be participating are FSU’s Nick O’Leary, and WR Rashad Greene along with center Cameron Erving, and guards Josue Matias and Tre’ Jackson. Miami will have wide receiver Phillip Dorsett along with Denzel Perryman.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
Obviously there is no advantage to coaching and getting to know these future draft picks, particularly mid and late round picks. The Bucs have stated they want to build through the draft, apparently they mean other teams draft. I’m sure Lovie will be spending his time scouring other teams rosters for third string offensive linemen he can bring in as starters. This truly explains the Bucs future under Lovie. I have never heard of a team saying they didn’t gain valuable information from coaching in this game. Oh well, it’s going to be a long time until Bucs fans can smile again.
They will be there in person, literally standing on the sidelines. There are four years of game tape and the Bucs scouts attend the college practices throughout the year. Very little to learn from two padded practices and a walk-through. I mean they install the most simple basic offense and defense for two days. Trust me, the game tape and interview process is the key, not running a flag football practice.
A lot can be learned observing the interaction among the players, learning who accepts direction and who blows it off, etc that isn’t observed from the sidelines or during a formal “interview”.
I don’t see much of an advantage spending time coaching with a staff that will likely not remain intact. I often hear that many staffs depart before the game because they already have all of the information they need so the game is somewhat moot. Makes no sense to me, but they all say it. Besides, one need only heed the words of Mel Kiper, Mike Mayock, Todd McShay and watch a few YouTube videos to know all there is to know about a player. Plus the PR gang who give us the Bucs Best Bets. Drafting players is “easy peezy”. Yes, I’m being sarcastic.
I don’t mind that they’re going to spend the time on getting the coaching hires right instead of coaching the Senior Bowl.
They really need to get the staff right this timearound. Rex Ryan at the Falcons is going to add another degree of difficulty to winning the NFC- South if it should happen.
I’m with Mac, the Bucs need to get their own house in order. This O.C. hire, and 1st pick in the draft will determine our future going forward.
Truly a non-issue. The top teams over the last 20 have never coached the Senior Bowl and remain the top teams. Our last go-round didn’t produce such fantastic lasting results so I don’t understand why not doing it this year bothers some people. We need to focus on revamping the coaching staff and better scouting of the all the draft eligible players. Coaching the Senior has not historically been the key to success.
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