The NFL playoffs are in full swing, but college football’s January schedule will look a bit differently.
The annual East-West Shrine Bowl was cancelled during the season due to COVID-19. To make up for it, the selected players that would’ve played in the game will participate in virtual training sessions in preparation for the NFL Draft.
Per the Shrine Bowl’s Twitter account, four assistant coaches for the Cincinnati Bengals will be a part the virtual programs this year. The four assistants being:
- Brad Kragthorpe, offensive assistant
- Jordan Kovacs, defensive quality control
- Ben Martin, assistant offensive line coach
- Troy Walters, wide receivers coach
The program was created to allow players to be engaged with NFL coaches and personnel members despite the lack of an in-person event. NFL teams nominated active assistant coaches who were reviewed by a panel of NFL Football Operations staff, East-West Shrine Bowl leadership and members of the NFL’s General Managers Advisory Committee to serve as coaches for the event.
Shortly after the season ended, it was reported that Kovacs and Martin would stick around on Zac Taylor’s staff, so it’s no surprise to see them earn this opportunity. The same goes for Walters, who was recently promoted from assistant wide receivers coach in just his second year coaching in the NFL. Kragthorpe’s work with quarterback Joe Burrow goes back to their LSU days together, so he has value for other up and coming quarterbacks.
The Shrine Bowl may not be played, but integral members of the Bengals’ coaching staff will still get to interact with aspiring NFL players leading up to the draft.