Friday, July 12, 2013
Sumlin to NFL is simply a 'matter of time'
By Brent Sobleski
UPDATE: Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin insists he won't be leaving College Station for the NFL any time soon. NFL teams will still make a run at the Aggies' coach next off season, and it's a matter of when not if Sumlin eventually makes the leap.
"Several team executives to whom (National Football Post) spoke this week cited Sumlin as the college coach most likely to be eyed by NFL teams looking to make a change, and take a fresh approach, next spring," Len Pasquarelli reported.
The transition could happen sooner than even Sumlin is willing to admit.
"Sumlin is enjoying the bright lights, judging by his UFC ringside seat with Usher the other day," Kevin Sherrington of DallasNews.com wrote. "College Station can't really compete with that. I don't think there's any question that Sumlin wants to try his hand at the NFL. It's just a matter of time."
The viability of Sumlin's candidacy within the professional ranks won't be determined by the Aggies' success this season. It will be the success -- or lack thereof -- of Chip Kelly in Philadelphia.
"The bias against (college coaches) isn’t nearly what it used to be," an NFL personnel director told Pasquarelli. "And if (Kelly) does well, people will be even more open-minded."
Texas A&M fans now have a rooting interest against the Eagles this season.
Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin is the NFL's next hot coaching commodity. Sumlin was reportedly offered the Philadelphia Eagles' vacancy this off season. More offers are bound to come if Texas A&M maintains its success this season.
Sumlin isn't ready to leave Texas A&M.
"I don't have to say anything," Sumlin told Brent Zwerneman of the San Antonio Express-News. "Everybody knows what I do (now). I've never coached in the NFL. I've had plenty of opportunities to do that, both as an assistant coach and even as a head coach. But there's a reason I coach college football, and we've got a lot of work to do here. We're still playing catch-up, and we finished third in the SEC West last year (behind Alabama and LSU)."
There will eventually come a point where Sumlin is finally enticed to coach in the NFL. It's unlikely to happen in the near future.
"Maybe later -- some time later," Sumlin said. "But it won't be anytime soon. My family likes living here and I like living here. Heck, we just got here. People ask me to respond to the (NFL talk), and I say, 'You've got to be kidding me.' Because I remember what was being said at this time a year ago."
The news of the NFL's interest can be a double-edged sword for Sumlin. Negative recruiting will certainly ensue as rivals tell recruits Sumlin will leave College Station sooner rather than later. The Aggies' staff can use the NFL's interest in its head coach to promote the fact recruits will be playing for an innovator and someone the professional ranks desperately want to acquire.