The annual Senior Bowl All-Star game, considered by many NFL scouts as the most important pre-draft game, has changed its coaching format for 2023 and the Las Vegas Raiders will benefit.
On Wednesday morning, officials for the Mobile, Alabama, game named Raiders’ defensive coordinator Patrick Graham as a head coach for the Feb. 4 game. Graham, who had a disappointing first season in Las Vegas in 2002, will head up the National team. His counterpart will be Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, who will lead the American squad.
The @seniorbowl will name #Bears OC Luke Getsy the head coach of the American team and #Raiders DC Patrick Graham the head coach of the National team, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 18, 2023
In the past, the Senior Bowl would be coached by full staffs, one in each conference. However, this year, several assistant coaches from around the NFL will head up the coaching staffs.
Smart idea from the @seniorbowl, giving assistant coaches from multiple teams the opportunity to "coach up" for this year's game. Patriots DL coach DeMarcus Covington will be a defensive coordinator pic.twitter.com/QECqNyLzCp— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) January 18, 2023
Both Graham and Getsy have been considered future NFL head-coaching candidates, so this is a good opportunity for them. It’s also a great pre-draft jump for the Raiders. Graham will get to know players on his team better than other coaches and scouts around the league because he will be with them so much. So, he can give Las Vegas general manager Dave Ziegler and is draft team good insight into players on his side.
Former Raiders coach Jon Gruden and his staff coached in the Senior Bowl in 2019. They drafted safety Johnathan Abram, cornerback Isaiah Johnson, tight end Foster Moreau and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow and signed undrafted free agents, fullback Alec Ingold and wide receiver Keelan Doss from the Senior Bowl experience.