Here’s a point I forgot to make in the recent post on the Dolphins’ coaching situation. And in lieu of adding it as a paragraph to an existing story, I’ve decided to massage it into an observation that covers the existing vacancies in Miami, Tampa, Indy, and Oakland.
(Some would call that a “slow news morning.”)
No college coach has been identified as a candidate for any of the existing jobs. But that doesn’t mean a college coach won’t get one or more of the existing jobs.
Unless a college coach already has decided to leave, like former Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh did a year ago, any investigation of opportunities with any other program will occur secretly. With recruiting season in high gear, any whisper of a possible departure could cause the targeted prospects to scatter — and could become an annual sticking point when trying to bring together the next class of blue-chippers.
And so, like the sudden ascension of Dennis Erickson in San Francisco nine years ago, a college coach could appear out of the blue, not as a candidate but as the victor.
In this regard, keep an eye on Oregon coach Chip Kelly. A week ago on PFT Live, former Colts and Bucs coach Tony Dungy gave Kelly a strong endorsement. Given that the two teams Dungy coached are currently looking for coaches, that should at least prompt a kicking of Kelly’s tires.
None of this means that Kelly or any other college coach is heading to the NFL. But keep an eye on the possibility that, out of nowhere, a college coach will be hired for one of the jobs.