Fooch’s update: The Senior Bowl made it official. The 49ers will be coaching the South team and the Raiders will be coaching the North team.
The first Monday after the regular season ends brings Black Monday coach and GM firings, but it also brings news of the Senior Bowl coaching staffs. The Senior Bowl approaches coaches of teams that are at or near the bottom of the draft order, and this year looks to be an All-Bay Area affair. The San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders are expected to get the call to head down to Mobile, Alabama at the end of January.
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden reportedly reached out to the Senior Bowl team requesting the opportunity. Usually we see the top two teams in the draft order get the honor, but with the Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets firing their coaches, that opened the door for the Raiders.
Earlier this month, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked if he had been approached about coaching at the Senior Bowl. He said no, but if offered the 49ers would accept.
“You have mixed emotions about it always as a coach. But, it’s something that you never turn down. It’s an advantage for you. Any little thing helps. If you can find out more about one guy, whether it affects a seventh-round pick or a free agent you go for, it’s always worth it. If that opportunity happens, we’ll be there.”
The game is scheduled for January 26th, but the real key is the week leading up to the game. The 49ers and Raiders coaches will run practices like they normally do and get a chance to put a host of players through their paces. All teams have scouts and coaches on hand to observe and meet with players. The 49ers get in-practice exclusivity with half the roster of players that will be on hand. It doesn’t guarantee they’ll hit on players they grab from the Senior Bowl, but it gives them an early advantage.