Coming off a 4-win campaign in the 2008 season the chance to coach at the Senior Bowl will be a boost to the scouting process. Lewis and his staff coached the North team in the 2004 Senior Bowl, following his first season with the Bengals. The staff of the Jacksonville Jaguars, led by head coach Jack Del Rio, will coach the South team.
"Coaching in the Senior Bowl was very valuable to us in 2004, and we are excited to once again have this opportunity," Lewis said. "The top talent is always going to be at this game, and there's nothing like the evaluation you can get from actually coaching these players in practice and game situations."
The game is scheduled to be played on Saturday, Jan. 24 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Players will practice and participate in meetings the week prior to the game. Front office personnel, scouting staffs and coaches from all 32 teams attend the practice sessions and meet with players throughout the week.
Seven players from the 2004 Senior Bowl have played for the Bengals, including draft choices Keiwan Ratliff, Madieu Williams and Greg Brooks. Current punter Kyle Larson, originally signed as an undrafted free agent in 2004, was on the North squad that year.
Lewis also coached in the 1998 Senior Bowl as part of the Baltimore Ravens staff.
"The hands-on work you do gives you a great insight into how guys learn and understand," Lewis said. "The work at a game like this is very fundamental, but it still can tell you a lot."
Team rosters are still being finalized but so far there are 18 players who participated in New Year's Day bowl games committed to be in Mobile. That includes four members of the University of Cincinnati team that played in the Orange Bowl: cornerbacks Mike Mickens and DeAngelo Smith, punter Kevin Huber and offensive lineman Trevor Canfield.