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2022 Senior Bowl announces Detroit Lions coaching roles, Duce Staley as head coach

Duce is the Lions’ acting head coach, while Aubrey Pleasant and Ben Johnson will serve as coordinators.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

One of the neater additions to the 2022 Senior Bowl this year is a program to help teams develop their own coaching staffs. The two teams assigned to coach the Senior Bowl—the Detroit Lions and New York Jets this year—have been asked to have their head coach step down into an advisory role for the week in Mobile, allowing a chance for the rest of the coaching staff to receive temporary promotions.

On Friday, the Senior Bowl announced the new roles of each coaching staff. For the Lions, assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley will appropriately serve as the team’s head coach for the week, replacing Dan Campbell.

“We as a staff are excited to hit the ground running at the Senior Bowl,” Staley said in a written statement. “This week will serve as a valuable experience for all of us to help lead our coaching staff alongside Coach Campbell as we get to know this talented group of young men. We are looking forward to a great week of football in Mobile.”

Additionally, tight ends coach Ben Johnson will serve as the team’s currently vacant offensive coordinator position and defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant will take over defensive coordinator duties from Aaron Glenn.

Johnson, of course, is considered a candidate for the Lions’ actual offensive coordinator job following the parting of ways with Anthony Lynn at the end of the season. This will serve as a great opportunity for him to state his case.

This is also a prime opportunity for Pleasant to state his case for a defensive coordinator position in the future. It’s unclear what Glenn’s role will be next week for the Senior Bowl, but it appears he will likely interview for the Saints head coaching job at some point. If Glenn gets that job, Pleasant will hit the ground running in his case to replace him. It does seem like it’s only a matter of time before Glenn gets a head coaching job, so either way, this will be a valuable resume-building experience for Pleasant.

The Senior Bowl kicks off next week, with the first practices scheduled for Tuesday.