Vanderbilt’s James Franklin drawing NFL interest


Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin has already interviewed for one NFL team’s head-coaching vacancy and has fielded requests to interview with two more teams.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Franklin interviewed two weeks ago in Houston, before the Texans hired Bill O’Brien. Franklin also has requests to interview in both Cleveland and Washington, although it’s not clear at this point whether he plans to interview for those jobs.

Franklin is one of the hottest names in coaching right now, and he is also a candidate to replace O’Brien at Penn State. He could still re-emerge as a candidate at Texas as well if the deal with Louisville’s Charlie Strong falls through.

Vanderbilt, which concludes its season today with a bowl game against Houston, has become surprisingly successful under Franklin, who took over in 2011 after Vanderbilt had gone 2-10. In Franklin’s three seasons they’ve gone 6-7, 9-4 and 8-4, with wins over much more talented teams like Missouri, North Carolina State and Auburn in 2012, Georgia and Florida in 2013, and Tennessee in both 2012 and 2013.

The 41-year-old Franklin has been primarily a college coach, but he did spend the 2005 season as the Packers’ wide receivers coach.

16 responses to “Vanderbilt’s James Franklin drawing NFL interest

  1. Vandy’s James Franklin would probably have a better QB rating than Missouri’s James Franklin who stunk up the joint in Missouri’s win over Okie State last night.

  2. I think this was more of “we’ll fulfill the Rooney rule plus there is a small chance we’ll hire him since he is a possible NFL level coach” reasoning than anything else. I hate the Rooney rule is this is why.

  3. will james bring his wife florida, his kid JJ, his hot daughter, and that other annoying little kid with him?

  4. I love Franklin for my alma mater (PSU), but the huge concern if he becomes a Penn State hire – is obviously that PSU will constantly be in the same “Will he leave for the NFL” dealio they had with O’Brien.

    That is not a positive for new talent recruitment or existing player retention – and it’s even worse when the shoe actually drops and the Head Coach truly does leave.

    If PSU is willing and able to bring Coach Franklin on board, my only recommendation is that (if possible) – they structure the contract to make it the equivalent of an impenetrable force field, and the Buyout Clause would of course, be key.

  5. Rooney Rule! Rooney Rule! Rooney Rule!

    With Frazier and Smith off the market, teams have to do a sham interview with SOMEone, right?

  6. But James Franklin had a 142 QB rating this year. In addition to taking his team to a very high final finish, some of the supposedly elite teams ranked ahead of them already got smoked and lost their game. Franklin came up with a win. And he still has a high QB rating despite any suggestion that he does not.

  7. By the way, let’s see the interest he draws if Vandy continues its 2nd half collapse today. It is now tied!!

  8. Am I the only one who sees the interest in college guys as ridiculous? It’s not the same game. Kelly in Philadelphia notwithstanding , you cannot generalize that anomaly.

    Totally cannot see Franklin in DC. Or any other NFL team for that matter.

  9. Before shouting “Rooney Rule,” we need to apply some critical thinking skills. With legitimate minority candidates like Caldwell, Fewell (in the case of the Skins), Hue Jackson (in the case of the Skins), and others, no NFL team is going to waste time and money by bringing in a guy who coaches at a program like Vandy — unless he actually has a shot at landing the job.

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