As I got off the plane Sunday morning in Mobile, Ala., it hit me that I was about to attend my 16th Senior Bowl. This will be the 63rd Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier all-star game, which allows the nation’s best collegiate football players, one last chance to impress over 800 coaches, scouts, owners and front-office personnel.
The Senior Bowl is run by president and CEO Steve Hale in conjunction with the NFL office. The coaching staffs are selected by the NFL, based off worst record. If a team declines to coach in the game, the league office keeps working its way down the list until two organizations agree to coach this prestigious bowl game.
It is said that some see coaching in this game as an embarrassment because teams that have had a lack of success during the season must coach in front of their peers and extends the working season one more week. Several other teams see it as an opportunity to get inside information on players by being in a week of meetings, on the practice field and seeing them in game-time situations.
In addition to the coaches, each NFL team chosen by the league to coach in the Senior Bowl also bring their training, video and equipment staffs to work with the Senior Bowl players and maximize the many benefits that the players will receive by playing in the contest.
The NFL allows their broadcast company, NFL Network, to film all practices sessions as well as the prestigious game on TV, and SiriusXM Radio will broadcast the game nationally.
Day 1 Weigh In
Players dressed in shorts walk across the stage so everyone can get a good body description of the prospects, looking for muscle definition, heavy fat deposits, scars and, believe it or not, tattoos. With tattoos, you’re looking for any gang-related association. It is amazing that several of these players who have played at a major level of competition look as if they have never even visited the weight room, lacking muscle mass, definition and bulk. While scouts and coaches give a grade based on physique, strength coaches are responsible for grading growth potential, assessing how much bigger a player can get based on frame (bone structure).
Heaviest Player: (346) Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia
Tallest Player: (6-7) Mike Adams, T, Ohio State
Player with the longest arm: (35¼) Kelechi Osemele, T, Iowa State
Player with the largest hand: (10¾) Derek Wolfe, DL, Cincinnati and Nick Foles, QB, Arizona
Player with the widest wing span: 85½) Kelechi Osemele, T, Iowa State
Meal of the Day: Shrimp and Grits; Jambalaya with chicken, ham, tomato, and Andouille sausage; oysters on half shell and a Diet Coke.