We ignored the Jim Tressel story from yesterday, mainly because the coach leaving Ohio State has nothing to do with the NFL. But Tressel’s future could very well be tied to the league, so what lies ahead for Tressel is something to keep an eye on.
Gil Brandt, who knows Tressel well, seems pretty sure that he’ll steer clear of the NFL:
He likely has no future now in college. He might at a much lower level, but not in the big conferences. As for the NFL, I think there’s a tremendous difference between the two levels. You look at all the highly successful college coaches and not many of them seem to translate that to the NFL. I don’t think the NFL is for Jim.
In the end, I think he’ll end up at some small school in an unpaid type of capacity in which he helps young coaches and young people. That’s what he always loved doing.
NFL.com’s Albert Breer, who is a former Buckeye himself, figures that Tressel will have opportunities to coach in the pros, but that he might not want to pursue them:
My editor asked me this morning if I think Tressel could coach in the NFL. I didn’t have to hesitate. Heck, yes. Of course, he could. Tressel already operated as a CEO, running the flagship program of an athletic department with a nine-figure budget that ranks either first or second (jockeying with Texas) annually. He might be the highest profile figure in Ohio, in any forum, and was the state’s highest-paid employee. There’s no NFL spotlight that will glare brighter than the one he’s already been under, nor will there be more responsibility with any professional team than he’s already had.
Would he want to do it, though? That’s the better question, and one I can’t answer. I also can’t say, unequivocally, that he’d be a roaring success in the NFL.
So at this point it looks unlikely that Tressel follows old rival Pete Carroll to the big leagues, but history tells me that things can turn quickly. Don’t rule anything out.