Today is Bloody Monday around the NFL as the regular season has come to a close. Head coaching vacancies have been made with the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins and more. And with the NFL coaching carousel now in full swing, do not be surprised to hear some conversation pick up about potential candidates coming from the world of college football.
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has been one of the trendy names to follow in the NFL rumor mill, although the head coach of the Wolverines appears to be keeping his distance whenever asked about the possibility of pursuing a job in the NFL. Harbaugh has stated he does not really have representatives, and the Jets have turned aside the rumors suggesting the franchise was looking to make a push for Harbaugh.
For years, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has been seen as a likely candidate to make the jump to the NFL at some point in time. Coming off an undefeated regular season only to be shown the exit from the College Football Playoff in dominant fashion against Clemson will certainly have some suggesting Kelly may have tapped out at Notre Dame and could be willing to look for a new challenge. Confirming his allegiance to Notre Dame is nothing new for Kelly, as he’s been doing it multiple times during his time in South Bend. We’ll see if anyone kicks up some dust on his name for a potential job opening.
Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley has had his name thrown around by some NFL folks, and with the success of Baker Mayield in his rookie year with the Cleveland Browns, it’s not difficult to understand why. Former Texas Tech head coach and current USC offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury has also had his name tossed around at times, more likely as a coordinator however. There are also reports that Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald could get a look from the Green Bay Packers. Former Washington and USC head coach and Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian could be out of a job as Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator, so it would not be out of the question Sarkisian makes his way back to college football in some capacity either. This thing works both ways, right?
Then there are the college coaches who have some previous NFL head coaching experience. Good luck prying Nick Saban back to the NFL when he is the God of Alabama football at the height of his career, but might an NFL franchise be willing to give a guy like Herm Edwards another shot after proving some doubters wrong in his first season at Arizona State? Given how coaching hires are made, recycling a veteran coach like Edwards would hardly be a surprising move by some NFL franchise.
This time of the year, nothing should be considered completely off the table, so brace yourselves, college football fans. This coaching carousel isn’t quite done just yet (and it was already potentially in motion with some recent vacancies already opened up at Houston and Temple).
Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards may have been away from the coaching game for quite some time, but the veteran coach still knows a thing or two about what it takes to generate some good vibes with the team. On Sunday, Edwards surprised defensive lineman Jordan Hoyt with a scholarship. Fortunately, this was all caught on video for us all to share the moment, because these types of videos will simply never get old.
Edwards set Hoyt up for the surprise by asking the player to come up in front of the team at a team meeting and say a few things. As Hoyt continued to share his message to his teammates, an image of a message of congratulations to Hoyt was thrown on the screen hanging on the wall behind Hoyt. As Hoyt was talking, his teammates in the room interrupted him with applause.
Hoyt played in two games for the Sun Devils last season and was previously named the team’s defensive scout team player of the year in 2016. Hoyt will begin his redshirt senior season on scholarship at Arizona State, and that’s a great way to kick off the final year of eligibility for any player.
As Herm Edwards gets back into the coaching routine at Arizona State, he is showing he is not exactly out of touch with what it takes to connect with the kids these days. Well, if you think breaking out a few moves on the practice field to some turn-of-the-century jams can do the trick.
Edwards was caught strutting on the field while the sound system was playing Nelly’s “Ride Wit Me,” a song Edwards later confessed to listening to on a regular basis during his early-morning workouts.
The hiring of Edwards by Arizona State was an eye-raising one for the program because Edwards had been removed from coaching for an extended period of time, and it had been even longer since he last coached at the college level. But maybe some things never change. As Edwards has said before as he returns to coaching, it’s still the same job. We’ll see how this all plays out in the fall, but it is good to see Edwards letting loose this spring.
Arizona State’s hiring of Herm Edwards as head coach may not have been the kind of hire that speaks loudly in the coaching carousel compared to a number of other hires, but it’s a good thing Edwards is loud enough just by entering the room.
On Monday, Arizona State brought out Edwards to meet the Arizona State media, and he was already showing he is determined and ready to get to work in his new job. Edwards set the tone for the foundation of the program Arizona State is attempting to build and offered more than a few examples of how he still has the itch to coach. Knowing there are some questions about Arizona State’s to hire Edwards, Edwards responded by letting everyone know he has never really stopped being a coach despite being away from a sideline for years.
“Turn the TV on Wednesday. I’ll be back in studio in Bristol, and I’ll be coaching football by the way,” Edwards said, referring to his current job at ESPN as a studio football analyst. “That’s what I do. I coach football.”
“You don’t forget how to coach. They’re not bringing me here to play,” Edwards said. “I can’t play, although I’ll tell you I got one hit left.”
Edwards also delivered a message that he is ready to make Arizona State a destination for Pac-12 supremacy, and he has no time to hear about USC or Stanford or UCLA.
Edwards is no doubt a great inspirational and motivational speaker, and that is one reason Arizona State welcomed Edwards to the program. Edwards also got deep about the importance of the huddle, and he discussed it in terms of football and real life in a deep and provoking dialogue.
Time will tell if this hire works out for Arizona State, but there is no question Arizona State has a coach who is ready to go to work.
Former NFL player and head coach and current ESPN NFL analyst Herm Edwards has not coached a game since his final game with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008. Could he really be back on the sidelines a decade later?
Reports coming out of Arizona have thrown Edwards into the rumor mill as a possibility to fill the vacancy at Arizona State, which is rather interesting, to say the least. If nothing else, it is certainly an out-of-the-box idea but one that begs some further examination.
Edwards worked in the NFL as a scout or coach from 1990 through 2008 with positions with the Chiefs in two stints, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and New York Jets. The San Diego State alum started his coaching career as a defensive backs coach at San Jose State from 1987 through 1989 before picking up a scouting job with the Chiefs. Edwards has no ties to Arizona State, but Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson has previous experience in NFL circles as an executive, so his familiarity with Edwards may be a factor. Anderson has also suggested he would ideally like to hire a coach with previous head coaching experience, and Edwards obviously checks that box off. Being given a helping hand in the job search from Edwards’ friend, Tony Dungy, could also be an influential factor in the early stages of Arizona State’s job search as well.
But how much of this is really going to gain any traction? That remains unknown. It could just end up being a courtesy call and a power play to draw attention to the Arizona State job. Having your vacancy connected to a coach and football personality that has a certain level of respect helps sell the idea of the job being an attractive one. But the Arizona State job is decent enough as it is with or without having Edwards mentioned as a possibility.
In the long run, Edwards at Arizona State would be a difficult hire to sell to the fans. Edwards could certainly be good to motivate college kids, but he also could be a coach that gets burned out rather quickly before Arizona State is back in the saddle on the coaching carousel once again.
UPDATE 6:35 PM E.T.: Adam Schefter of ESPN reports Edwards will interview with Arizona State this weekend.