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NFL Job? College Coaches Need Not Apply


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Thought that the Falcons Nation would find this interesting:

NFL job? College coaches need not apply

Written by Jay Glazer

FOXSports.com, Updated 11 hours ago

"Hello, Bobby? Yeah, it's Kirk Ferentz. You probably remember me, I'm the Iowa coach who has been at the top of NFL coaching lists for years."

Petrino: "What do you want? I have a booster lunch I'm late for."

Ferentz: "I won't bother you with small talk. I'd just like to say $#%# you, you son-of-a-%#$@!@#%!!! You freaking #$@%, backstabbing @$@^#@#, cowardly $#%#$@#$~!"

Petrino: "Wow, that was almost as good as Arthur Blank's reaction."

Ferentz: "You selfish $%#$^@!@#!!! You ruined it for the rest of us. You screwed the rest of us college coaches hoping to jump to the big bucks and high profile of the NFL."

Petrino: "Sooiee!"

In a world where political correctness reigns supreme in the sports landscape, conversations behind the scenes are usually anything but. We could only imagine what guys like Ferentz and other college coaching candidates for NFL work "really" think of Petrino's Atlanta jilt. Had they gotten a chance to actually place such a call, our version may not be that far off.

But in the end, Petrino should get one massive, collective thank you from the NFL's owners. With Petrino duplicating Nick Saban's cowardly lying act, Arthur Blank's least favorite human being has likely killed the chance any NFL owner would delve into the college ranks for at least a couple of years.

Rightfully so. The truth is, college head coaches simply don't belong in the NFL.

"Two totally different games," said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. "There's no relation between coaching in the NFL and coaching in college. Two different worlds."

Don't take our word for it. Ask Daniel Snyder how well Steve Spurrier worked out for him. Couldn't cut it with the big boys. Ask Wayne Huizenga how he felt when Saban lied to the world and eventually filed for divorce from South Beach. Despite acting like he's the toughest man in pro football history, he couldn't deal with the men on this level. Trying to brow-beat a guy like Zach Thomas doesn't go over too well.

College players fear their head coaches. These young men fear suspension and sometimes scholarship revocation. But ask the grown men on the Falcons if they feared Petrino. Ask the Giants just how much they feared Tom Coughlin. Ask T.O. how much fear Bill Parcells struck into him. These college coaches come to this level and are quickly slapped with the reality that they aren't dealing with athletic kids but rather 53 separate corporations, some worth eight figures, many nine figures and even a few 10-figure puppies.

The college coach's mentality doesn't mesh with these corporations.

The other problem is the schedule. This isn't a sport where head coaches spend half their time wining and dining boosters. This isn't a game of schmoozing. There isn't a whole lot of golf time, much less family time.

The ego and money lures the Spurriers and Sabans of the world but their families quickly realize the NFL is 18 hours a day, 320 days per year. The season ends and the work gets even more tireless as free agency and the draft immediately begin. This stark reality smacks the coaches across the face and delivers a stunning kick in the butt to those loyal wives.

Another problem is the personnel side and putting a proper value on talent based upon the salary cap. This is a huge reason that Jimmy Johnson was the only head coach to successfully make the jump from college to the pros in the age of salary cap football.

Coach Johnson had an innate knack of nailing the personnel game. Then, Barry Switzer made the jump but his players were already in place thanks to Johnson. That's a rare case. Owners typically bring these college coaches in to rebuild struggling programs.

The college guys try to sign as many prospects as they possibly can. It's all about stock-piling. Aside from Daniel Snyder and Al Davis, that's pretty much not the norm inside the NFL. It's about getting the best out of 53 guys on the roster. They can't all be stars but the NFL head coach must motivate men fighting for their football lives, convincing them they are integral to the whole. Conversely, college coaches often don't even know their players' names.

In essence, college has one man in charge of boys. The NFL is comprised of one big unit of men helping each other for the common goal.

I was always amazed that during the coaching searches, teams I talked to continuously asked about certain college head coaches. I implored them not to go that route. Teams have had to pay little initial salaries to guys like John Fox, Sean Payton, Lovie Smith and now Mike McCarthy and Mike Tomlin. Why bother paying $5 million for a commodity that has not paid off since Jimmy Johnson?

Heck, Butch Davis should have put up the red flags ever since he broke the bank from Cleveland at the start of this decade. Certainly Spurrier and the cash paid out to him fortified the fact that these owners should have ventured with caution.

These owners pay $5 million to watch a guy learn on the fly. Shoot, don't learn on my dime. Those inside the NFL also have an adjustment period but at least they already understand the game, understand today's player and understand the pressures of the job.

Then there's the lying factor. College coaches have to lie in order to recruit. They're as bad as today's agents who recruit players for the NFL draft. Show me a great recruiter of these young men and I'll show you a great liar. I'm not conveying this to be insulting, it's just the reality of the cut-throat recruiting process.

Obviously lying goes on in the NFL as well, but not as much to the players as to the media and outside sources. In the NFL, players rely upon shooting it straight even if it's harsh. They need structure, routine and the truth.

You want the truth, Coach Ferentz? Everything I hear is that you'd make a heck of an NFL coach. I hear nothing but wonderful things from personnel people and coaches inside the NFL. But the truth is, Petrino and Saban screwed you. Screwed you and all your college coaching co-horts.


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