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Jaguars to coach Senior Bowl


JACKSONVILLE – It's official: the Jaguars are coaching in the Senior Bowl.

In a move that has been expected for several days, the Reese's Senior Bowl announced on Thursday the Jaguars' coaching staff will coach in this year's game, which will be played January 25 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.

The Jaguars will coach the South team, with the Atlanta Falcons' coaching staff coaching the North team.

The first Senior Bowl practice is scheduled for Monday, January 20. Practices and the game are televised live on NFL Network.

The Jaguars last coached the game in January 2009, with Jack Del Rio as head coach.

"We are looking forward to the opportunity as a coaching staff to spend the week in Mobile and coach the Senior Bowl," Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said. "It's a great opportunity to be around these players in a competitive environment and see how they work throughout the week.  It's a great evaluation tool.

"It's maybe better for us as coaches instead of sitting in our rooms watching tape over and over again.  We will be able to evaluate all aspects of their game and we expect it to be a very productive week."

Bradley previously coached in the Senior Bowl in 2007 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when he was the linebackers coach under head coach Jon Gruden. "I visited the Jaguars in August and everyone there raves about Gus Bradley and what he represents as their head coach," Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage said.

The Falcons finished 4-12 this season after playing in the NFC Championship Game the season before. They went 13-3 in 2012. Mike Smith, the Jaguars' defensive coordinator from 2003-2007, will enter his seventh season as the Falcons' head coach next season.

"We have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time at the Senior Bowl over the last six years, but this is the first time we will have the chance to coach the game," Smith said. "The week of practice provides a great opportunity to get to know these players on a personal level, but being able to coach these young men will give us the ability to work hands on with them and evaluate them."

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