The Buffalo Bills won't have to wait until the NFL Scouting Combine in February to get an up-close look at some of the top college prospects.
Bills head coach Chan Gailey and his staff have been chosen to coach the South team in the 2011 Under Armour Senior Bowl on Jan. 29 in Mobile, Ala. The Cincinnati Bengals will coach the North squad.
This is the first time since 1984 and the fourth time overall that the Bills have been chosen to coach the premier postseason college all-star game. Lou Saban led the Bills' coaching contingent that worked with the North team in 1970 and 1971, while Kay Stephenson and his staff led the North in the 1984 contest.
Gailey's staff will coach the South roster the entire week leading up to the game. Coaches, scouts and other front office personnel from all 32 NFL teams will attend to watch and evaluate the practices. But the Bills and Bengals are the primary beneficiaries because they will have a hands-on opportunity to work with the players.
Among the more notable seniors on the South roster are Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder, Florida guard Mike Pouncey, Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn, Southern California wide receiver Ronald Johnson and Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan.
"It is an opportunity that you look forward to because of the opportunity to work hands-on with some of the top players in the nation," said Gailey, who was an assistant under Dan Reeves when the Denver Broncos coached in the 1986 and 1989 Senior Bowls. "Anytime you can do that, you get a much better read on a guy -- whether he can learn and retain, his work habit and his leadership. All of those intangibles that you can't get off of film or in interviews."