All-star games are upon us, and the NFL is using this period to help some of its assistant coaches improve their careers.
The league announced this week it has partnered with the East-West Shrine Bowl to staff the game with assistant coaches nominated by its non-playoff teams. Two assistant coaches will be chosen by a panel of NFL operations staff, East-West Shrine Game staff and the NFL's General Managers Advisory Committee as head coaches, and those coaches will fill their staffs with other assistants nominated for the game by their teams. Coaches nominated by their clubs must be "active assistant coaches who display extraordinary teaching and communications skills, and are recognized for their integrity and commitment to excellence in the coaching profession. The coaches must be accomplished at developing and preparing players to compete in the NFL."
This arrangement will allow coaches to network with coaches they wouldn't otherwise work with, and to coach in roles they wouldn't otherwise experience over the course of a normal season.
"The East-West Shrine Game is not only a showcase for tremendous athletes who have a dream of playing at the next level, it is also a venue for upwardly mobile coaches in the NFL," NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said in a statement. "This is an opportunity to further develop, evaluate and showcase our assistant coaches who may be our next generation of head coaches."
Normally staffed by retired NFL coaches, the East-West Shrine Game will be played Saturday, Jan. 21 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. (3 p.m. ET, NFL Network).