Sunday, September 21, 2008

Some things never change: college coaches rarely succeed in NFL

College coaches rarely make it in the NFL, reports the Sacramento Bee. The newspaper writes: "In the past 14 years, Dennis Erickson, Mike Riley, Steve Spurrier, Butch Davis, Nick Saban and Bobby Petrino have fit that profile." And now there is Lane "Dead Man Walking" Kiffin, the Oakland Raiders head coach. Kiffin, 31, came straight from the sidelines of USC. But not as the head coach of the Trojans. No, he was the offensive coordinator for Pete Carroll. He also coached the wide receivers, which probably explains his great relationship with Javon Walker. Gil Brandt shares a few thoughts about the lack of success by the college coaches:
    "The difference between college and pros is monumental," said NFL scouting guru Gil Brandt, architect of Dallas' powerhouse teams of the 1970s. "Now, that doesn't mean that college coaches aren't as smart, but they have that 20-hour week (limit for practice and meetings with players). They don't do as many exotic things as they do in the NFL.

    "It takes a while to learn if you've never coached in the NFL – all the different coverages, the (salary) cap. It really makes it hard if you've never been an assistant."
Oh, but then there's Jimmy Johnson with the Dallas Cowboys. Uh, okay, now name another. Take your time.

Okay, time's up. Tom Coughlin. Yes, the New York Giants' Super Bowl winning coach last season. He came to the NFL straight from Boston College. He had a rough start with the Jacksonville Jaguars, though. And then, he barely survived in New York before last season. He was almost destined for the road traveled by Petrino, Spurrier, Davis, Saban and, heck, even Pete Carroll.

Okay, okay, now come up with someone other than Jimmy Johnson and Tom Coughlin. Good luck. And good luck to Kiffin. We hardly knew ya.

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