According to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Patriots coaching staff will be headed back to Las Vegas for a third time in the last year, this time to coach in the East-West Shrine Bowl, an annual college all-star game that features draft-eligible prospects. The Atlanta Falcons are slated to coach on the other sideline as the two teams will get an early up-close look at a number of potential prospects well before the offseason draft process really begins.
The East-West Shrine Bowl released a statement specifying the kind of experience the Patriots staff can expect to receive. "As a development tool, club's head coaches serve as supervisors, allowing others on the staff to possibly coach up a level or to coach a new position," said the statement. "In addition, the East-West Shrine Bowl will have coaching fellows from HBCU institutions get to learn and develop as coaches during the week of practice."
Schefter noted that the Patriots' expected stability on their staff was a significant qualifier, though the move is unlikely to be affected by any potential staffing changes in the coming weeks. Last season the Patriots selected four players from the 2022 Shrine Bowl - Tyquan Thornton, Jack Jones, Pierre Strong and Sam Roberts. This season the coaching staff will get up close and personal with a new group of prospects as the team hopes to strike gold with some of their expected 11 draft picks.
The 2023 Shrine Bowl will be played on Thursday, February 2 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, a stadium in which the Patriots played the Raiders in both the preseason and regular season. The game will serve as a prelude to 2023 reimagined Pro Bowl Games, with Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon selected to represent New England after a career-high 15.5 sacks.
The full list of accepted invitees features a number of talented prospects from across the college football spectrum.