The 2023 Senior Bowl is underway, and it gives all 32 NFL teams and their scouting departments an early look at the players who were selected to take part in the week-long All-Star event.
For a select group of coaches, they will get an even closer look at these players considering they were selected to be the coaches for the week. In the past, two NFL teams would deploy their entire staffs in Mobile, Alabama to coach these NFL hopefuls, but now coaches were hand-picked to fill those responsibilities.
Pittsburgh Steelers secondary coach Grady Brown was named the defensive coordinator for the National Team, and it is giving the organization an up-close-and-personal look at the prospects.
“I think it’s priceless. It’s a hands-on opportunity,” Brown told Dale Lolley of Steelers.com. “We’re coaching them. We’re coaching them the same way we would coach them in Pittsburgh. Other guys are coaching the same way they would be coached with their other teams. We get a chance to assess how well or how fast they process information. It’s really priceless. It’s awesome.”
For these young prospects, they aren’t just getting used to playing against some of the best players about to enter the draft, but also learn the terminology associated with the NFL game. In Brown’s case, trying to make it simple so the players can still showcase the athletes’ abilities without stressing them to the point where their performance slips.
“The big thing is making it simple,” Brown said. “A lot of terminology is complicated. We want to stress the athletes, but we want them to be able to come out and function and get lined up. The deal was to make it simple, but still have some NFL terminology so they can learn it in two or three days and then go out and execute it. It wasn’t difficult.”
As for Brown, as a coach he is looking at this opportunity to potentially further his future as a coach in the NFL.
“Absolutely it’s an opportunity,” he said. “Mike T was down here and there were other head coaches. Our GM, Omar [Khan] is here. So, certainly it’s an opportunity for coaches to be evaluated. It’s a job interview for all of us. And that’s what I told the players. They’ll get our best effort, for sure, because we’re all being evaluated.”
As a coach who has experience calling the defensive calls, Brown knows he is better prepared now for the gig than he was two years ago when the Steelers hired him.
“After being in the NFL for two years now and getting a better handle on the game and seeing what our game is about, I believe have the talent to be a coordinator at some point in my career. Right now, it’s just about doing the best job I can do as with the position that I have, trying to make sure everybody is reaching their potential as a player. I believe that is my job as a coach. Everything else will take care of itself.”
The hope is the insight Brown can provide the Steelers will be beneficial to the organization as the rest of the lead up to the NFL Draft continues on. Next up after the Senior Bowl is the NFL Scouting Combine followed by individual school Pro Days.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the NFL offseason.