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Suchomel: K.C. job good fit for Ferentz

[ 11 ] December 12, 2011 |

Speculating about the coaching future of Kirk Ferentz is a lot like a dog trying to bite its own tail.

Sure it’s fun to see reporters spin around in circles growling and barking for a while, but ultimately we’re only left with a tired dog and the status quo.

Might this chase be different?

On Monday, the Kansas City Chiefs fired coach Todd Haley. General manager Scott Pioli, a longtime friend of Ferentz, is the one charged with finding the next coach.

The NFL Network already was reporting Monday afternoon that Ferentz was the top candidate for the opening. The Kansas City Star also listed Ferentz among the top choices.

Of course, this isn’t the first Ferentz-to-the-NFL rodeo. It is an annual December and January tradition on par with Festivus and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

And Ferentz has never left, so it is easy for him to dismiss every rumor every year with a blanket “I’m still here” statement.

After all, Ferentz signed a contract with Iowa that runs to 2020. He deflected questions most recently when his name was linked to the Penn State opening.

“I’ll be coaching at Iowa next year,” Ferentz said.

He’s made it clear he doesn’t enjoy these questions. I’m not sure it has ever really hurt Iowa’s recruiting. If anything, I think players gravitate toward someone with NFL ties.

Ferentz is scheduled to meet with the media Friday. A lot can happen between now and then. If Ferentz or his agent end up talking to the Chiefs — and I expect one or the other probably will, even if it is a polite “no thanks” — we may never hear it.

But if Ferentz is going to try the NFL, there might not be a better time.

1. He gets to work with his close friend, Pioli.

2. Most NFL teams aren’t going to give Ferentz, 56, his first NFL head-coaching gig after he turns 60 in a couple years. Sure there are head coaches that age and older, but not many get their first NFL head job at that age. The oldest coach to win a Super Bowl was Dick Vermeil, who was 63 when the Rams won Super Bowl XLII.

3. The Kansas City Chiefs were a playoff team just last year. Several key players were hurt early in the season and should return. There is work to be done, but it is not a house on fire.

4. The miracles of Tim Tebow aside, the AFC West is a completely winnable division now and in the foreseeable future.

5. Although he might miss coaching his son, James, he might be able to lure Brian from the New England Patriots for his staff.

6. If Ferentz whiffs, the job just doesn’t work out, chances are he would find a soft landing spot in a few years at any number of college programs.

7. It’s not a big deal, but former Ferentz favorites Ricky Stanzi and Tony Moeaki are there.

All that said, I don’t expect Ferentz to go. He has made it clear over and over that Iowa was not and is not a stepping stone job for him. He had chances to bolt. He stayed and made it his own.

He will be celebrated as one of the best coaches in Iowa history, even if he left tomorrow. If he fulfills his contract, maybe wins another Big Ten title or two and perhaps finally gets to the Rose Bowl, then he will be revered.

Of course, a few more 7-5 seasons and the low rumbles of grumbling from the Hawkeye faithful are likely to become a roar. There is no getting around the fact he is paid like a top 10 coach … but isn’t getting consistent top 25 results.

And his salary, compared to results, is the only thing Ferentz likes talking to reporters about less than NFL jobs. Woof.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Ryan Suchomel: Reach Ryan Suchomel at 339-7368 or rsuchomel@press-citizen.com. View author profile.

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