After the Detroit Lions staff got to coach at the Senior Bowl last year, a new format is giving defensive assistant Shaun Dion Hamilton the opportunity this year.
Last year, the Detroit Lions coaching staff got an up-close look at incoming draft prospects at the Senior Bowl. For assistant coaches, it was an opportunity to step into an elevated role all week and on game day.
The rules are different this year, with a mix of coaches from around the league rather than all of one staff. Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and Las Vegas Raiders defensive coordinator Patrick Graham will be the head coaches, and the Senior Bowl described the coaching staff arrangement.
Under a new arrangement to promote professional development, NFL Football Operations has implemented a “coach up” format where coordinators and assistant coaches are placed into elevated or different roles from the ones they currently hold with their respective clubs. Head coaches and general managers from all non-playoff teams had the opportunity to nominate assistant coaches and those candidates were then selected by a group comprised of league office executives, representatives from the General Managers Advisory Committee, and Senior Bowl leadership.
As a non-playoff team the Lions were able to nominate their assistant coaches, and that group is now known to have included defensive assistant Shaun Dion Hamilton.
On Thursday, Brett Greenberg of WKRG in Mobile, Alabama reported Hamilton will be a defensive backs coach in the Senior Bowl.
Shaun Dion Hamilton getting a nice early opportunity as a coach
After three seasons playing for Washington, the Lions signed Hamilton in 2021. A preseason arm injury landed him on IR for the entire season. He was with the Lions in training camp last year, but he was part of the early roster cut from 85 to 80 players as the Lions trimmed their linebacker room. Head coach Dan Campbell asked him to stay around as a coach, and he did.
Hamilton played linebacker, but he’ll get a close look at the defensive backs down in Mobile. That will be good intel for the Lions to have, as they’ll surely target cornerback in the draft.