The East-West Shrine Game is a proven starting point for athletes seeking careers in the NFL. Many of professional football’s most recognized and decorated players, including Tom Brady, Brett Favre and John Elway, all played in East-West Shrine Games.
More than 90 players from last year’s game signed with professional teams this spring, and more than 70 made final NFL rosters. On average, more than 265 East-West Shrine Game alumni are on NFL rosters each year. Since the game’s inception, 72 former players have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and more than 200 have been named to the College Football Hall of Fame. An invitation to take part in the annual East-West Shrine Game is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the best collegiate football all-stars in the country to showcase their talents in front of top representatives from NFL teams. A strong performance in the game can greatly impact a player’s chances of a career in the NFL.
The players are selected based on their potential to make an NFL roster. A consensus of the 32 NFL teams is taken into consideration to field two teams of players who meet this criterion. The general divide used to assign East and West teams is the Mississippi River; however, exceptions are made to ensure that the best 100 players are selected for the game, regardless of location.
The NFL will supply the coaching staffs for the two teams from among current league assistant coaches whose teams do not advance to the playoffs. The NFL will also provide the game officials for the contest, which features some of college football’s best prospects.
At the conclusion of the NFL regular season, teams will nominate deserving assistant coaches who will be reviewed by a panel that includes NFL Football Operations staff, East-West Shrine Game leadership and two members of the NFL’s General Managers Advisory Committee. Once the head coaches are selected, each head coach will then fill his 12-person staff from among other NFL assistant coaches nominated by the clubs, a key job requirement for head coaches at every level of the sport.
Coaches nominated by NFL clubs must be active assistant coaches who display extraordinary teaching and communications skills, and are recognized for their integrity and commitment to excellence in the coaching profession. The coaches must be accomplished at developing and preparing players to compete in the NFL.