The coaches for the 2021 Senior Bowl were announced Monday, and it came with a bit of a twist.
The Senior Bowl is usually coached by teams that are at or near the top of the first round. Essentially, bad clubs. That won’t be the case in 2021, as the Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers have been chosen for this year’s game.
— Reese's Senior Bowl (@seniorbowl) January 11, 2021
The Dolphins do own the third overall pick but it’s not because they earned it on the field. The selection originally belonged to the Houston Texans but was traded to Miami for offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil.
The Panthers pick eighth overall.
Compare this to last year’s game when the Bengals and Lions roamed the sidelines. Cincinnati had the first pick while Detriot was third overall.
Keep in mind this caveat: teams that pick at the top of the draft and are undergoing a coaching change aren’t eligible to coach at the Senior Bowl. The Jaguars (No. 1 overall) and Jets (No. 2 overall) were eliminated from contention right away. That left Miami, who essentially traded their way into the coaching gig.
The Bengals and Eagles, who aren’t — as of yet — undergoing a coaching change, had to pass on the opportunity to allow the Panthers a crack at the gig.
It remains to be seen whether this year’s Senior Bowl will even take place. The game is scheduled to kick off on Jan. 30, with a week’s worth of practices preceding it. With COVID-19 still raging out of control, it’s difficult imagining a scenario in which the game can be held in a responsible fashion.
Even the 2021 NFL Combine is in doubt, as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. If the NFL’s biggest offseason scouting event is on the verge of being canceled, the Senior Bowl probably should be too.
For now, the coaches have been chosen and the rosters are filling out. We’ll have wall-to-wall coverage of the week’s events once they get going from Mobile, Alabama.