I don’t even know where to start with this, but, well, let’s just dive right in.
Bret Bielema interviewed for the head-coaching job with the Miami Dolphins a couple of years ago. He has now confirmed as much publicly and willingly and openly, too. Guess that’s one place to start.
Unbeknownst to the public in general and the media specifically, Bielema interviewed in “the winter of 2012,” as ESPN.com put it, for that open South Florida NFL gig. At the time, Bielema was the head coach at Wisconsin and was coming off a Rose Bowl appearance following the 2011 college football season with transfer Russell Wilson as his starting quarterback.
It’s that Bielema/Wilson/Dolphin dynamic that’s so utterly fascinating, if for nothing more than, based on Beilema’s own words, he’d possibly be in the NFL right now if the pro folks in Miami had just heeded his sage draft plan. The following is prefaced by the ESPN writer herself noting that “Bielema insists this is true,” so there’s that. And this:
He is a day and a half into his meetings, and is mapping out his plans with the Dolphins’ brass. He promises them a Super Bowl ring within five years if they pick Wilson, his quarterback at Wisconsin, in the upcoming draft.
The idea of selecting a 5-10 quarterback in the second round, which is where Bielema thinks they need to, does not go over well. They think he’s crazy.
“One hundred percent,” Bielema says.
“They all looked at me like, ‘You can’t say that. That’s the difference between college and pro. He’s undersized. He can’t throw.’ I was like, ‘OK, all right,’ and I honestly, that day, kind of pulled myself out of it.”
Pulling out that time, Bielema remained at UW for one more season, after which he pulled up stakes in Madison and headed to Fayetteville for the head coaching job at Arkansas.
The lesson here? Bielema, as is the case with pretty much every other coach, is more than willing to listen to overtures. Oh, he’ll listen, as the 2014-15 coaching rumor mill hinted at — very strongly hinted at — when it came to the opening at Nebraska. Talking publicly about being “right” on a Super Bowl-winning quarterback like Wilson just sets up NFL options for the future, too.
Just something to keep in mind on down the road, when the next few coaching carousels are spinning.