Way back in late September, Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com wrote that the perception some NFL executives have of the “wacky, Mad Hatter” persona of Les Miles “is changing drastically” and the LSU coach “will definitely be pursued by teams in need of a head coach at the end of the season.”
It’s not yet at the end of the season, but, with head-coaching axes already swinging in a couple of NFL cities, Miles’ name is already being attached to a professional vacancy.
In fleshing out a list of potential replacements for Tony Sparano, and despite how it worked out the last time the college route was taken by the organization, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel lists Miles as a possible candidate for the opening with the Miami Dolphins. After finishing your eye roll, you can read the pros and cons as listed by the paper:
Pros: He’s the new Nick Saban or Pete Carroll, and there’s no where else for him to go but the NFL considering his salary ($3.75, plus performances bonuses) and growing reputation needs to be stroked.
Cons: Too many college coaches (Saban and Bobby Petrino) have put their toe in the NFL’s water and decided this life – where some players have more power and influence than the coaches – isn’t meant for them. He’s served as an assistant in Dallas, so he knows what he’d be getting into. You’d have to wonder what’s his motivation?
The fact that the Tigers are the only unbeaten team in college football this season and preparing for a date against Alabama in the BcS title game only adds to the allure Miles may hold for an NFL owner looking to make a “name” splash. Instead of trying to plow new ground when it comes to Miles and any potential future in the NFL, I’ll simply refer back to what I wrote over two months ago on the subject as the opinion has yet to change.
Personally, Miles just “seems” like a college coach from where I’m standing. Then again, I said the same thing about Jim Harbaugh before he left Stanford for San Francisco this offseason. It’s unclear if Miles is cut from the same coaching cloth as Harbaugh, although we’ve heard The Hat described in the past as “a college coaching lifer” by those familiar with his thinking.
Again, though, similar things were being said of Harbaugh right up until he bolted for the 49ers. In other words, LSU fans, buckle up; it’s going to be a bumpy next couple/few months on the speculation front.
This particular speculation front two months later, however, involves a team very familiar with Nick Saban circa 2006/2007. Surely the Dolphins, a half-decade later, wouldn’t take the same tack with a coach who, like Saban, has taken on the shape and appearance of a college football lifer, would they?
Of course, I could be reading Miles completely wrong as well and he’ll join Harbaugh in the professional ranks in the not-too-distant future. I honestly don’t think so, though. Only time will tell, I guess.