Deion Sanders wanted to coach the Falcons, 16 years ago

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The notion of Deion Sanders as a head coach of a major football program may seem ridiculous on the surface to outsiders. But it’s not ridiculous to Deion Sanders.

Sanders first expressed interest in being a head coach in the NFL. Sixteen years ago.

In 2003, Deion went public with his desire to coach the Atlanta Falcons.

I can make them a better team, and I know that, because I know the things that really need to be done there,” Sanders told ESPN.com at the time. “I put so much time into preparing every week for my Sunday job, watching tape and talking to players and coaches, that I still live football. It’s still a big part of me. I talk to head coaches and assistants, guys with whom I’m close, every week. I know what the job involves, believe me, and I know I can do it.”

Sanders, at the time, had retired from the NFL and taken a job with the CBS pregame studio show. He’d later return to football, joining the Ravens. His comments came before then-new owner Arthur Blank had fired Dan Reeves.

“Oh, there’s going to be a change, let’s face it,” Sanders said. “I mean, they have to do something, don’t they? They’ve got some players there they can win with, any coach would love to work with [Michael] Vick, plus I know I could get players to come there [as free agents]. Guys most definitely would want to play for me.”

And there’s the thing that could make Deion an excellent selection for Florida State: Players will want to play for him. He will be a great recruiter. Say what you will about Deion (and there is much that can legitimately be said), he has charisma. He has charm. When he shows up to close the deal with a recruit, close it he likely will.

Deion definitely seems to want the job. Interacting on Twitter with Luther Campbell of 2 Live Crew fame/infamy, Sanders said, “I need those players from Miami. Just joking. . . . Not really.”

Although his candidacy to coach the Falcons went nowhere, Deion’s interest in the FSU job is no joke. And there’s a good chance he’ll be great at it, if he surrounds himself with the right asistants — and if he becomes an electromagnet that attracts blue-chip recruits to Tallahassee.