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John Fox and his staff will coach the Senior Bowl. (AP)

Bears to coach in Senior Bowl

John Fox and his staff will coach the Senior Bowl later this month, the all-star game announced Tuesday.

The Bears will coach the North team, the Browns the South.

“We’re excited for this opportunity to get a hands-on look at some of the top draft-eligible players in the nation,” Bears head coach John Fox said in a statement. “The Senior Bowl experience will provide our coaches and personnel staff an extended chance to evaluate these players in a one-on-one setting which could prove to be very valuable as we approach the NFL Draft. It’s a great opportunity to spend some extra time with these guys and see how they respond to our staff.”

Fox has never before coached the Senior Bowl. The last Bears coach to do so was Dave Wannstedt in 1996. Mike Ditka did in 1992 and Jack Pardee in 1976.

The Bears will get a first-hand look at prospects in the week leading up to the Jan. 28 game in Mobile, Ala. The coaching duties typically fall to the staffs of the two worst teams who have not fired their head coach, though teams can say no. The Bears are drafting third, but the 49ers, slated to pick second, fired GM Trent Baalke and coach Chip Kelly.

Eight quarterbacks have accepted Senior Bowl invitations — Iowa’s C.J. Beathard, Tennessee’s Josh Dobbs, Ole Miss’ Chad Kelly, Colorado’s Sefo Liufau, Pitt’s Nathan Peterman, Baylor’s Seth Russell, Cal’s Davis Webb and Tiffin’s Antonio Pipkin. They’ll be assigned to teams Jan. 18.

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