Formerly known as the East-West Shrine Game, 2020 marks the 95th iteration of the all-star game, held at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg since 2012. As a way of providing an opportunity for college seniors to showcase their talent to prospective NFL teams, invited prospects are divvied up into two teams, East and West, practicing for a full week ahead of the game on Saturday, January 18. This year, the head coach of the East team will be Tampa Bay Buccaneers inside linebackers coach Mike Caldwell.
Caldwell led one of the anchoring units of the Bucs' defense in his first year with Tampa Bay, coaching veteran Lavonte David and first-round pick Devin White toward tremendous seasons. White finished the year with back-to-back Rookie of the Month awards and capped off his first-year efforts with the longest fumble return for a touchdown in franchise history during Week 17 at home against the Falcons. He became the first rookie since at least 1970 with two opponent fumble recovery touchdowns in a season and his four fumbles recovered in 2019 tied for the most ever by a Bucs' rookie.
After a 2019 campaign that saw him record 121 tackles (10 for loss), seven passes defensed, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and interception, David now has 1,005 career tackles, making him just the fourth Bucs player to reach the 1,000-tackle mark. He is now one of just two players in league history to record 1,000 tackles, 20.0 sacks and 10 interceptions through their first eight seasons, the other being Hall of Famer Ray Lewis.
Caldwell is himself an 11-year NFL vet, playing for six different teams, including the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles. The Tennessee-native began his coaching career with the latter in 2008. Before arriving in Tampa Bay, he had spent the previous four seasons with the Jets under then-head coach, now Bucs' Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles.
The West team will be captained by another familiar face in Ben Steele, who was formerly with the Bucs on Dirk Koetter's staff as tight ends coach. He spent the last year as an offensive assistant for the Falcons and has previously been a coordinator in the Shrine Game.