Last year, the Detroit Lions staff got to coach the Senior Bowl. The rules, at the time, allowed Lions coordinators and assistants to coach in elevated roles for the weekend, allowing those coaches to both get a good look at the NFL Draft prospects on hand and get a taste of increased responsibility.
The Senior Bowl changed its coaching policy this year. While the two of the worst teams will still represent the head coaches of each Senior Bowl roster (Bears’ offensive coordinator Luke Getsy will coach the American team, Raiders defensive coordinator Patrick Graham will coach the National Team), the rest of the coaching staff will be represented by assistants from all over the league. From an official Senior Bowl statement:
Under a new arrangement to promote professional development, NFL Football Operations has implemented a “coach up” format where coordinators and assistant coaches are placed into elevated or different roles from the ones they currently hold with their respective clubs. Head coaches and general managers from all non-playoff teams had the opportunity to nominate assistant coaches and those candidates were then selected by a group comprised of league office executives, representatives from the General Managers Advisory Committee, and Senior Bowl leadership.
The Lions, as a non-playoff team, were able to nominate some of their coaches, and on Thursday night, it was revealed that one has made it to an official coaching roster. Lions defensive assistant Shaun Dion Hamilton will coach the defensive backs, as first announced by Brett Greenberg of WKRG in Mobile, Alabama:
Former @AlabamaFTBL LB Shaun Dion Hamilton (@iam_sdh20) will be a DB coach for the @seniorbowl — served as a defensive assistant for the Lions last season.— Brett Greenberg (@74Talk) January 20, 2023
Dan Campbell asked Dion Hamilton to stay & coach after he was released from the Lions.
@SimoneEli_TV @JimNagy_SB pic.twitter.com/fuU1QsCA4H
At this point, it’s unclear which team he’ll be coaching, but it’s a great opportunity for Dion Hamilton. You may remember that just a year ago, Dion Hamilton was playing in training camp for a chance to be on the Lions roster. After he didn’t end up making it, the Lions asked him to stay on as an assistant coach, and now they’re looking to develop his skills as a teacher and leader.
This will also be a good opportunity for the Lions to get a closer look at the defensive backs in this draft. Detroit’s secondary certainly could use an upgrade after allowing the second-highest yards per pass attempt in the league and ranking dead last in PFF’s coverage grade.
Senior Bowl rosters are still being rolled out, so the defensive backs who will be on site at Mobile haven’t been announced yet. However, you can see the partial rosters of the American and National team here.