Chicago Sun-Times

Road Trip: Senior Bowl

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If there is ever going to be a Handshake Hall of Fame it should be in Mobile, Ala., site of the Senior Bowl, the NFL's ultimate schmoozefest.

This was my first trip to the annual college all-star game, which draws the coaching and scouting staffs of every NFL team as well as those seeking employment. The people watching is fascinating. Wearing a straight-from-the-box Seahawks' jacket, Pete Carroll holds the door for others at downtown hotel. While eating breakfast you might notice Mean Joe Greene at a nearby table. With their long, gray hair, Rex and Rob Ryan, sons of ex-Bears defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan, look like aging bikers. It's a strange sight to see Charlie Weis holding court in Kansas City red and yellow after all those years in Notre Dame blue and gold. Former Super Bowl winning quarterback Jay Schroeder is making the rounds, trying to catch on with a team as a quarterbacks' coach.
There's Trace Armstrong, who looks like he has lost 100 pounds since he suited up for the Bears.
The Senior Bowl would be a fun trip for an NFL fan. Mobile, Ala., is an off-the-beaten-path NFL destination and the low-key atmosphere affords an up-close view of not only future NFL players but the coaches you see on the sidelines every week. Enjoy a meal or stroll through a hotel lobby and NFL luminaries are everywhere.
The weather isn't always as warm as those who annually gather there would like, but it beats Chicago in late January.
Most of all, it reminds you that even though the NFL is a billion-dollar industry, the heartbeat of the league is still guys leaning against a chain-link fence swapping stories and evaluating talent.

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Jay Schroeder as a QB coach....interesting thought. has he done any coaching sine he retired? He was a very smart player, making up for the holes in his game with preparation and execution of his fundamentals, so that kind of pedigree would be valuable to work with young QBs in the NFL.

But of course, Jerry and Lovie were hanging out at Halas Hall this week, rifling through whatever sources they are using, trying to identify someone who might want to come coach for the Bears.

So why exactly is Alan Williams not already being interviewed? The Colts are off this week, so he could have come in on Tuesday or Wednesday for an interview, or Jerry and Lovie could have hopped a 20 minute flight (or 3 hour car ride) to the Colts complex in Indy. Just seems like a wasted opportunity to me.

Hey Joe-

I have said this from Day 1 of the Bears coaching search and it still applies right now, more so than ever.

The best QB Coach out there, and available, is Jim Zorn.

Do not get caught up in his OC and HC stints, instead, look at his positional coach (QB's) stints and who he worked with and what results he got.

He would be the best choice.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on January 29, 2010 12:17 PM.

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