Possible Coaching Candidates: Inside the NFL

As Canestime.com continues its assessment of potential candidates for the University of Miami, we will now turn to an entirely different talent pool: The NFL.

A coach making the transition from the "league" to the college game is nothing new. In fact, when conducting a thorough examination, a conclusion can be made that most coaches who are hired from the NFL will most likely go on to become successful at their respective schools.

An example of some of these coaches is Pete Carroll, Charlie Weiss, Bill Callahan, Les Miles, Kirk Ferentz, and Butch Davis. The list is not only surprising, but also extremely impressive as most of these coaches are highly respected in the college game. So, how did their stay in the NFL translate into wins on the college level?

Many factors contributed to the easy transition from one level to the other. To begin, to win in the NFL requires a master game plan due to the parity of the league. A 12-4 team isn't that much more talented than an 8-8 team. This is one main reason why upsets in the NFL are a lot more common than in the college game.

In the NFL, coaches become accustomed to mastering their schemes and paying attention to every detail, as this could potentially be the difference between a playoff team and having a top 5 pick. Learning to become a perfectionist that is very meticulous when it comes to execution is one of the attributes shared by all the aforementioned coaches. It is this "particular" attitude that assures every play and drill is run correctly, every time.

This demeanor goes a long way in handling the attention of 85 young adults. The results are usually a well-coached, disciplined team.

Another factor contributing to their effectiveness is the experience gained in the league. Coaching at the highest level is the ultimate learning experience for any coach. After working with the best players and coaches in the world, returning to the college game seems easy for these men. For example, after preparing a defensive game plan for a game against the Dallas Cowboys, having to due the same thing against Virginia suddenly doesn't't seem as hard.

Various schemes and philosophies are also picked up from coaches in the NFL. This gives a coach the opportunity to bring these ideas back to the college game and give most opponents wrinkles they've never seen before.

Now, like these coaches, I'm going to bring back some ideas and trends from the NFL. So, in honor of the popularity of the draft and fantasy football, we will now rank the pro "prospects" for the University of Miami.


First, let's begin with the "studs." These guys are the Tomlinson's and Harrison's of our coaching search. If Miami lands one of the following, then they will be starring at a bright future with little to no risk.

Jeff Fisher, Tennessee Titans - A "veteran" in the coaching game despite only being 48, Fisher has the second-longest tenure as head coach with any one team among active head coaches, only behind Pittsburgh's Bill Cowher. Fisher is currently one of the winningest active head coaches in the League, with a 101-85-0 (.543) record. Jeff would immediately bring a winning attitude to the Cane's, as well as 11 years of head coaching experience.

Steve Mariucci – Before entering the NFL's version of a human whirlpool in Detroit, "Mooch" was one of the most prominent coaches in the league. His most notable position was with the San Francisco 49ers, where he compiled a 60-43 (.583) record, while his teams earned playoff berths four times (1997, 1998, 2001 and 2002). An offensive specialist, coaching two legendary quarter backs in Steve Young and Brett Favre could come in handy on the college level.

Mike Tice, Jacksonville Jaguars - During his tenure of more than four years as the Vikings head coach, he had a regular season record of 32-33-0, while going 1-1 in the playoffs. Tice possesses a personality that would be perfect for the college game. He is a coach that loves to teach, and has an intimidating personality that will ensure discipline and order in his football program.

So there you have it, our blue chip, can't miss coaches for our rankings. These guys should be "first round picks" for the University of Miami in their coaching search. However, we will now move on to our "solid" coaches.


These guys aren't spectacular, but posses the potential to be major hires and elevate themselves to "blue chip" status.

Norm Chow, Tennessee Titans - Chow, currently serving as the offensive coordinator under Jeff Fisher, is a tactical coach specializing in offense. One of the brightest minds in the game, Chow has brought record setting offenses to everyone of his stops, most recently for the Southern Cal Trojans. Known for developing quarterbacks such as Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Ty Detmer, Phillip Rivers, Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart, Chow would immediately cure the ailing offense of the Hurricanes. However, his lack of head coaching experience makes him a risk.

Dennis Green, Arizona Cardinals - Coach of the Vikings for 10 years where he produced some of the NFL's most explosive offenses. Despite compiling a record of 97-62 in the regular season, Green developed a reputation of being "unable to win the big one." (Playoff record 4-8). The current head man for the Arizona Cardinals, many are certain he will be out at the end of the season. While he has had results, he has not posted a season with 6 plus wins since 2000.

Bob Bratkowski, Cincinnati Bengals – Bratkowski currently engineers one of the NFL's most potent offenses, featuring such superstars as Rudi Johnson, Carson Palmer, and Chad Johnson. His previous experience at the University of Miami give him an edge because he is familiar with the program. Although, the question of how he would respond to being the man in charge again arises in this situation. One thing is for sure though, production is not a problem with Bob.


It's now time to cover our last and most exciting category, the sleepers. These guys are big on potential, but because of some risks they offer up a unique situation. Acquire one of them, and you may have the next Pete Carroll on your staff. Conversely, things could go terribly wrong, and the experiment could end in a lot of losses both on the field and in the bank.

Rob Chudzinski, San Diego Chargers – Chud is known by all UM fans, as he directed Miami's offense through some of their most productive years. He's now moved onto the NFL where he's in charge of coaching up one of the premier tight ends in the league, Antonio Gates. His success at every stop and knowledge of the UM program could prove to be a happy marriage, but his lack of experience could help this experiment end in a disaster.

Cam Cameron, San Diego Chargers – Cameron is the current offensive coordinator for the Chargers, who happen to be one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. Cameron is in charge of finding ways to maximize the talents of superstars Ladanian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates. While his stint at the University of Indiana wasn't memorable, his experience as a head coach and results as an offensive coordinator make him an intriguing candidate. If UM wants him, they must act quick though, as he interviewed for two head coaching jobs in the NFL this past off season.

Norv Turner, San Francisco 49'ers – Turner, regarded as an offensive guru throughout the football community, is currently serving as the offensive coordinator for the 9'ers. His offenses are not always productive though, and he is nearing the end of his career. One might question his demeanor and how it might effect his recruiting and ability to teach the college game to kids. Was unsuccessful in his tenure's as head coach.


Now that we have officially handicapped the potential available coaches from the NFL, we can get an understanding of who would be a good fit at UM. If Miami chooses to go the NFL route, Miami must consider many factors as this route could be a very tricky situation.

With an open head coaching spot, and available candidates dropping like flies, the Cane's must move and move quick. Miami is on the clock in the "coaching draft," and we'll all see if they draft a boom or a bust.

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