The 2022 Senior Bowl is fast approaching. The roster is nearly full, with acceptances now over 110. Every year, the Senior Bowl is coached by full NFL coaching staffs.
Over the last decade, the NFL has sent staffs of the teams who had the worst record in the season before. This of course is dependent on the worst teams actually still having coaches in place. Last year, there was so much coaching turnover (and COVID concerns) that the Miami Dolphins staff was able to come to Mobile to coach. This despite nearly making the playoffs.
This year, there appears that we will have less change amongst the teams at the bottom. So, the 2022 Senior Bowl may actually be coached by teams that can use the exposure the most.
Below we will look at six coaching staffs that have the best shot of coaching in Mobile, and two others who probably won’t.
2022 SENIOR BOWL COACHING CANDIDATES
DETROIT LIONS (1-11-1) HEAD COACH – DAN CAMPBELL
It seems like we may be able to lock the Lions staff in for the February all-star game. Dan Campbell is unlikely to be fired. Detroit was here two years ago with Matt Patricia. Obviously, that didn’t help him, but with a fresh personnel department comes fresh tactics. It is hard for me to see them not being one of the two worst teams in the league at year’s end.
HOUSTON TEXANS (2-11) HEAD COACH – DAVID CULLEY
The Texans roster looks like it did when they were an expansion team in 2002. They have plenty of draft capital to start rebuilding and may get more with a Deshaun Watson trade. Culley was a surprise hire last offseason and I would place their odds higher if I thought the Houston ownership wouldn’t get antsy about pulling the trigger on firing him after one year. The Houston Texans last coached in Mobile in 2018 under Bill O’Brien.
NEW YORK JETS (3-10) HEAD COACH – ROBERT SALEH
Robert Saleh and company have had moments this season but have played poorly for the most part. While I don’t expect any staff changes it can’t be ruled out. The Jets have two picks currently in the top ten but it is unlikely that they will select any player they would coach in Mobile with those picks. However, it would be very advantageous for them to get the shot. The Jets franchise last coached in the Senior Bowl six months before my birth in 1979.
NEW YORK GIANTS (4-9) HEAD COACH – JOE JUDGE
The Giants also potentially have two picks in the top ten. However, will GM Dave Gettleman and head coach Joe Judge be around to make them. This is the first team where I feel a change will be made. If a major overhaul doesn’t happen with the Giants, then they have a reasonable chance to coach the Senior Bowl for the first time since 1995 with Dan Reeves.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (5-8) HEAD COACH – PETE CARROLL
Perhaps one of the more interesting options is the Seahawks and Pete Carroll. Usually, one of the top teams in the league, Seattle has struggled this season. They also do not have a first-round pick (Jamal Adams trade). They could really use an up close look at the potential roster rebuilding players they could see at the Senior Bowl. A look they have gotten since Dennis Erickson coached in Mobile in 1996.
CAROLINA PANTHERS (5-8) HEAD COACH – MATT RHULE
Matt Rhule was hired to rebuild the Panthers and it hasn’t gone according to plan. They have already fired offensive coordinator Joe Brady. So, that is a strike against them. They also coached the Senior Bowl a year ago. Strike Two. Strike Three may actually be Rhule being relieved of his duties if ownership gets impatient.
PROBABLY NOT GOING TO HAPPEN
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-11) HEAD COACH – DARRELL BEVELL (INTERIM)
Urban Meyer was fired earlier this week. This should, in theory, eliminate them from contention. Gus Bradley coached the Senior Bowl with the Jags three straight years in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
CHICAGO BEARS (4-9) HEAD COACH – MATT NAGY
No head coach has a hotter seat than Matt Nagy in Chicago. It is very unlikely he will be retained. And thanks to trading up for Justin Fields in the 2021 draft, the fruits of their futility are benefitting the New York Giants. John Fox coached Chicago at the Senior Bowl in 2017.