Mobile, AL. (Jan. 7)—The 2012 Senior Bowl will feature a pair of NFL head coaches making their Senior Bowl head coaching debuts. Leslie Frazier and the Minnesota Vikings staff will face Mike Shanahan and the Washington Redskins staff in the senior showcase event later this month, it was announced today. Shanahan and his staff will lead the South squad in Mobile, while Frazier’s Vikings staff will coach the North. The 2012 Senior Bowl is scheduled for 3pm (CT) on Saturday, January 28th in Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The game and all practices will be televised by NFL Network.
Both head coaches are no strangers to the event, having served as coordinators under different staffs in Mobile—Frazier with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2004 and Shanahan with the Denver Broncos in 1986.
“We’re really excited about having both of these staffs here in Mobile working with the future stars of the National Football League,” Senior Bowl President and CEO Steve Hale said. “With the amount of experience that both Coach Shanahan and Coach Frazier bring to the table, our players will receive the very best instruction as they prepare for the next level.”
This will mark the first time since 1998 and seventh time overall that the Redskins have been selected to coach the senior showcase event. Washington has gone 3-3 in their six previous trips to
Mobile, coaching the North squad four times and leading the South twice. Head coach Joe Kuharich and his staff made the trip to Mobile three consecutive years from 1957 to 1959, going 1 and 2 over that span. In 1967 Otto Graham’s staff came up on the losing end while coaching the South and in 1997 and 1998 Norv Turner won back-to-back Senior Bowls while coaching the North and South, respectively.
Shanahan’s Redskins went 5 and 11 this season—his second in Washington—and own the sixth overall pick in April’s draft. Prior to Washington, Shanahan led the Denver Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 1997 and 1998. He began his NFL head coaching career with the Los Angeles Raiders and in 18 NFL seasons he’s 162 and 113 overall.
“The Senior Bowl provides us a great opportunity to get to know some of the young players who will be selected in the 2012 NFL Draft,” Shanahan said.
The Redskins were clearly impressed with last year’s Senior Bowl roster, drafting a league-leading six players from the 2011 game—including Ryan Kerrigan with the 16th overall pick. The Redskins currently have 16 Senior Bowl alums on their roster.
This will be only the second time the Vikings staff has coached the Senior Bowl and first since 1980. That year, with Bud Grant at the helm, the Vikings staff led the North squad to a resounding 57-3 victory.
“The Vikings coaching staff and I are very excited to be a part of a great tradition and have the opportunity to coach in the 2012 Senior Bowl. It gives us the chance to work with some of the most talented football players in the country as they prepare to enter the NFL,” Frazier said.
Frazier recently completed his first season as head coach in Minnesota, having worn the interim tag for six games in 2010. The Vikings went 3-13 this season and own the third overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft.
“We are looking forward to working with and getting to know all of the players we’ll have the opportunity to coach. We are excited to go into a great environment in Mobile and work with some incredible prospects,” Frazier added.
Like the Redskins, the Vikings also used their first round pick on a Senior Bowl player last year. Minnesota selected 2011 Senior Bowl Most Valuable Player
Tickets for the 2012 Senior Bowl are currently available for purchase at the Senior Bowl ticket office (151 Dauphin Street), all area Food For Less locations, select Regions Bank locations, online at www.seniorbowl.com or by calling (251) 432-4109.