The 2012 East-West Shrine game takes place on Saturday, January 21. In this year's edition of the annual All-Star game, head coaches Brad Childress and Bobby Ross will each take command of a group of standout senior athletes from around the country in a game that will be heavily attended by NFL scouts and evaluators.
Childress, who is currently in the running for a couple of different NFL head coaching positions, will be the head coach of the West team, while Evans will coach the East.
The Associated Press via the Washington Post reported on the players reacting to the experience of training under an NFL coaching staff. Chandler Harnish of Northern Illinois had this to say:
It's a cram session. There are whole new concepts we have to learn and a whole new set of terminology. We're getting together with new guys and trying to get down our timing. We've got to learn to step around and deal with an NFL-style pass rush. This is huge for us.
Dan Persa, a quarterback from Northwestern, offered the following comment:
For me, it's an opportunity to work in a pro-style offense after working so much in a spread. I'm looking forward to improving.
This is a crazy week. It's about seeing something, walking through something, then having to execute it pretty quickly. You've just got to go play. You can't be looking around, worrying about what they think about you. Most of what you've done is on film. This is a chance to refine the process and let them get to know you a little more.
The coaches are interested in setting these college players up for success, not only by providing the NFL evaluators in attendance with what they need to see, but also giving the players opportunities to adapt and excel. Here is what Ross had to say:
Some of these guys have worked in offenses that don't necessarily translate to what they'll be doing in the NFL. ... I'm a coach who believes in the players making the system, not the system making the player. The talent is going to shine through.
Nobody's paying attention right now to any one particular person. For the guys who were the big guys on their team, this is a little bit of a different deal. It's a little more like what they'll be seeing when they get in a camp. The talent level goes up. ... Our job is to put in a base operation, then let them perform. Let these scouts evaluate them. They don't want a spread offense. They want a pro offense.
Childress agreed with his fellow head coach:
This also is a great place to see who can take in a lot of new information and transfer it quickly to the field. That's one quality everyone is watching. We're limited by formation, but we're not limited by volume. So you throw it all at them and see what sticks.
For more information on the annual East-West Shrine Game, you can visit the official website.