The NFL regular season may be coming to a close, but that doesn't mean we are anywhere near done with the football talk. Oh, no, quite the opposite.
As the action on the field will be ending for some franchises, the action off the field — through scouting, tape watching and draft analysis — is just heating up.
The Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, is an iconic time on the draft calendar. Each year the entire football world descends upon the southern city to watch some of the best upperclassmen in the draft pool get a week's worth of NFL coaching. We know some of the players who will be attending the event this year, and the list of names is as impressive as any year I can remember. But we don't know who will be coaching them yet.
Usually, the event is coached by two teams picking near the top of the draft order. It gives each staff the luxury of getting an early look at some of the top prospects.
With just three games left in the regular season, we have a pretty good idea of which teams will be selecting in the top 10. Here is my wishlist for head coaches and coaching staffs I would love to see with these future stars in Mobile.
Kliff Kingsbury, Arizona Cardinals
As a first-year head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Kliff Kingsbury has struggled with it comes game management and even game planning. But paired with rookie quarterback Kyler Murray, Kingsbury has proven to be lightning in a bottle at times too.
Kingsbury is bringing a new offensive edge to the NFL. His concepts and just the things he's willing to try have been fun to watch this year. There's a chance we could see the likes of Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert and maybe even Jalen Hurts as quarterbacks in Mobile this year. It would be a lot of fun seeing what Kingsbury could do with that young group for a few days.
Brian Flores, Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins' season started bad, and by bad I mean that fans were once again bringing up the "can the best team in college football beat the Dolphins" debate — which is always dumb, by the way, as the answer is always no. But Brian Flores has also won three games since November, which for this Dolphins roster is something worth applauding.
Seeing how Flores was able to rally his guys in Miami during the second half of the season, it would be interesting to see what he would do with some of the prospects in Mobile. The Dolphins also have three first-round picks for 2020, so you know that getting the Senior Bowl for them would likely mean Flores and his staff will be coaching one of their future players.
Doug Pederson, Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles still have a shot, not just at the playoff, but also to win the NFC East, which is wild to say with what we've seen from them this season (in a bad way). The reality, though, is that they are 6-7 and currently sitting at the No. 13 spot in the draft. If the Eagles were to lose out and go 6-10, they would be selecting in the top 10.
With a lot of other teams in the top 10 slated to be looking for their head coach rather than sending them to a draft event, Doug Pederson and his staff could be a legit option. It's not often you can get a staff that won a Super Bowl just a few years prior to then be coaching players in Mobile.
Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals
This one is on my list because if Burrow goes to Mobile, and the Cincinnati Bengals do keep what is currently theirs in the No. 1 overall selection, we will likely get a look at head coach Zac Taylor coaching his future quarterback for a whole week.
That alone is enough of a reason to put him on this list.
New Coach In Washington
As mentioned before, it's not likely the Senior Bowl will be able to take a coach from the Washington Redskins or Carolina Panthers, since we already know they will be hiring new head coaches, and seeing how it would normally be very difficult to hire a staff then head to Mobile, the timing rarely works out, even though they are a team picking high. On top of those two, if guys like Pat Shurmer, Adam Gase, Matt Patricia, Doug Marrone or Dan Quinn get canned from their spots, the New York Giants, New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons probably wouldn't be options, either. That's most of the Top 10.
However, since Washington fired Jay Gruden all the way back in early October, there is a chance that they could have their guy in place soon enough to accept a Senior Bowl coaching invitation. It isn't likely due to the timing of things. But it would be cool to get a first-look at a new NFL head coach in a Senior Bowl setting.