Several of the Washington Commanders' coaches will get an up-close look at some of the best college prospects in the country.
Running backs coach Jennifer King, assistant defensive line coach Ryan Kerrigan, assistant offensive line coach Travelle Wharton and assistant special teams coach Ben Jacobs have all been selected as coaches for the 2023 Senior Bowl.
This is the first season where the Senior Bowl will implement 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.
The Commanders are tied with the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears for the most coaches represented from one team in the Senior Bowl.
This is the first time that Kerrigan, who played in the Senior Bowl after a successful college career at Purdue, will coach in an All-Star game. For King, Wharton and Jacobs, it is starting to become a more frequent occurrence. They were selected as coaches for the East-West Shrine Bowl last season with Wharton serving as the offensive coordinator and Jacobs serving as the special team coordinator.
From the time she arrived in Washington in 2020, King has been a reliable source for young running backs as they develop their skill set. Last season, she helped rookie Brian Robinson record 797 yards and lead the team's ground attack.
"I am very pleased to have Coach King back to assist me full-time in the running backs room," running backs coach Randy Jordan said when King was promoted to her current position. "She was extremely helpful last year in seeing the game from a different perspective, and she was a tremendous communicator in our room."
Jacobs, a former linebacker, spent eight seasons as a key contributor on all four phases of special teams, recording 31 special teams tackles and eight tackles on defense in 73 career games played.
Jacobs led or tied for the team high in special teams tackles in two of his seasons (2014 and 2018) with Carolina and helped the Panthers win the NFC Championship and advance to Super Bowl 50 during the 2015 season.
Kerrigan has worked with defensive line coach Jeff Zgonina since being hired as the assistant defensive line coach prior to the start of the 2022 season. Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne were both voted to Pro Bowls this season after combining for 19 sacks.
"Ryan Kerrigan is one of the most accomplished players in this franchise's history," said Head Coach Ron Rivera. "Following his retirement, we had a great talk about his goals for life after playing. Ryan had an interest in coaching, and we were able to allow him to shadow our coaching staff this summer. He is an extremely hard worker with tremendous knowledge of the defensive line position group. I look forward to watching him develop as a coach and assist Coach Zgonina in the defensive line room."
In 2021, Wharton assisted an offensive line that helped produce Washington's first 1,000-yard rusher since 2018. Washington ranked sixth in the NFC in rushing yards (2,061) and rushing yards per game (121.2). The offensive line also recorded a pass blocking grade of 78.3 according to Pro Football Focus, the fourth-best in the NFL. Washington's 80.7 run blocking grade was the seventh-best in the NFL according to PFF.