Jackson State Tigers head football coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders was a part of the NFL Pro Bowl coaching staff. Sanders, the winner of the Eddie Robinson Award given to FCS coach of the year, was a part of the NFC squad.
Sanders an eight-time Pro Bowl player, led the Tigers to an 11-2 record and their first SWAC Championship in 14 seasons. The team also participated in the Celebration Bowl, aka the Black College National Championship.
During this past weekend’s Pro Bowl Sanders worked with Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LeFleur and the NFC squad. Sanders was one of two HBCU Legacy coaches chosen, along with Morgan State associate head coach William Carr (AFC), who worked with Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel.
Sanders Was Rather Critical Of The On-Field Product: Game Just Isn’t The Same
When Sanders played, game participants went out and hustled hard and actually tackled and hit one another. Now it’s turned into a glorified game of two-hand touch. Nothing more than a walkthrough.
Lord help me. I’m watching the @nfl Pro Bowl and I remember when we were so proud and appreciative of that accolade. We went to Hawaii to prove we were more than worthy so we competed at practice and in the game. I wanted u to know that PRIME was PRIME ! What Happened & When ?
— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) February 6, 2022
With the game no longer being played like it was in the 2000s, Sanders and other members of the NFL fraternity questioned the current product.
Sanders tweeted his displeasure about the event.
“I’m watching the @nfl Pro Bowl and I remember we were so proud and appreciative of the accolade. We went to Hawaii to prove we were more than worthy, so we competed at practice and in the game. I wanted u to know that PRIME was PRIME! What Happened & When?”
They playing 2-hand touch football in the Pro Bowl. Sean Taylor looking down shaking his head. https://t.co/8jQu9Ok63T
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) February 6, 2022
Prime’s comments, and the ridicule the game endured from fans on social media conjured memories of Sean Taylor playing the game like it was the playoffs.
Apologies for what we’ve done to the Pro Bowl since you left us, Sean Taylor. pic.twitter.com/sRL3S3R2Nl
— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) February 6, 2022
Former NFL player and Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe was also a bit perturbed by what he was watching, tweeted the following:
“This was EMBARRASSING. NFL should do away with the game but keep the accolade of being accepted to the game.”
Current players like Cardinals defensive lineman JJ Watt and former player Chris Johnson even chimed in on the glorified pregame walkthrough.
Watt, a five-time Pro Bowl player, tweeted:
“I’ve seen walk-thrus more intense than this”
Johnson, a three-time Pro Bowl player, tweeted:
But Deion got a taste of life on the NFL sidelines in a coaching capacity. He also was a highly visible representative for Jackson State University as it continues to try and flip Power 5 recruits and elevate the stature of HBCU football. Sanders is able to show recruits, opposing coaches and anyone else who questions his ability to transform HBCU culture, that he is in the building, rubbing elbows with current NFL stars and executives. He has the ear of people on the next level, which gives him a real advantage when selling his message to potential recruits.
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