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, the beach and family time.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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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