ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The Denver Broncos’ staff will coach at the Senior Bowl later this month, where they’ll get an up-close look at Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield , who is one of the college quarterbacks sure to be on their radar as they prepare for the NFL draft.
The Senior Bowl announced Wednesday that the Broncos, led by Vance Joseph, will coach the North Team and the Houston Texans staff, led by Bill O’Brien, will coach the South Team, which will include Mayfield, who won the Heisman Trophy this season.
“We jumped at the opportunity for the Broncos to work the Senior Bowl,” general manager John Elway said. “On both the coaching and personnel sides, the experience gives us a chance to meet these prospects and get to know them on and off the field. The Senior Bowl has a great tradition and we are excited to be a part of it.”
Although the Broncos will keep an eye on all positions, Elway said at his season-ending news conference this week that fixing his QB problem was a top offseason priority.
“For us to have a chance to get better, we have to get better at that position,” Elway said after the Broncos missed the playoffs for the second straight season following their Super Bowl 50 triumph in Peyton Manning’s last game.
The Texans already have their quarterback in Deshaun Watson, but will also benefit from the three days of practices leading up to the game Jan. 27 in Mobile, Alabama, that features many of this year’s top draft prospects.
It’s a big year for O’Brien , who will enter the final year of his contract after being retained following a 4-12 finish, which had a lot to do with season-ending injuries to Watson and superstar defensive end J.J. Watt.
This marks the first time the Broncos have coached in the Senior Bowl since 1989.
“It’s a tremendous evaluation tool spending all week with these players,” said Joseph, who worked the 2006-08 games as a 49ers assistant coach. “From the meeting rooms to the practice field, the Senior Bowl experience lets us see how these prospects work and prepare in a competitive environment.”
In addition to the coaches, the Broncos’ and Texans’ football support staffs — athletic training, equipment, video, operations and public relations — will work the Senior Bowl week.
The NFL Network will televise practices Jan. 23-25 and sessions Jan. 24-25 will be broadcast by ESPNU. Also, the NFL Network will broadcast the game, which kicks off at 2:30 p.m. ET on Jan. 27.