With a coaching record of 133-31, two national championships, and a track record of finding and getting the most out of talented young players, Clemson Tigers head football coach Dabo Swinney is going to see his name come up early and often in NFL head coaching searches. With good reason, Swinney has no interest in leaving Clemson for the NFL. At this time, anyway.
Dabo Swinney on the open job in Houston: “I have not heard from Deshaun, and that is not even anything that I want to have to think about.” https://t.co/p05Cu7vCVN— Sarah Barshop (@sarahbarshop) October 6, 2020
It’s always something of a no-brainer for any successful NCAA coach to stay with a school committed to a big football program. Collegiate coaches don’t work nearly as many hours, or as much of the year, as NFL coaches do. They often get paid as well or better, often including a free house, a free car, a country club membership, and other amazing perks. Perhaps most importantly, they get far more control over an entire program. Unless you’re Bill O’Brien and manage to pull that feat off in the NFL, that is.
Nevertheless, it’s easy to see the allure of the NFL, especially for men seeking to further their achievements and reach for the ultimate football brass ring: The Lombardi Trophy. Despite that potential pull, Swinney is not ready to give up his FBS program for an NFL job.
Clemson's Dabo Swinney, whose team is preparing to play No. 7 Miami this week, was asked about the Texans job today. "You don’t want to ask anything about Miami? Next question.” https://t.co/YhxvegPQ9F— Matt Young (@Chron_MattYoung) October 6, 2020
Additionally, there’s a contingent of Houston Texans fans who are totally happy with Swinney staying far away from the office on Kirby. As with anything else football related, we all have our reasons for our beliefs and why they will or won’t work. Many feel Swinney’s way of doing things just won’t translate to NFL success, or that he’s too reliant on outstanding coordinators and players to survive in a scenario without those pieces in place.
A counterpoint to that rationale: How do you think those coordinators and players got their roles? Swinney put them there. Unlike Bill O’Brien, who surrounded himself with yes-men and future scapegoats, Swinney pursues excellence in order to achieve his goal of NCAA football dominance.
The Next Houston Texans Head Coach Could Still Be Dabo Swinney
Swinney’s style of organizational management, player inspiration, and recognition of coaching talent could still be exactly what the Houston Texans need. And let’s face it, we’d all love to see Deshaun Watson in a system that let’s him do stuff like his:
That doesn’t mean Swinney would excel in the current Houston Texans reality. He’d have to deal with a general manager, nstead of dictating who the team recruits. Said GM would have to navigate an unfriendly salary cap position, lack of top draft picks, and a culture that’s run off far too many quality players over the last decade. Looking at it through that lens, it’s no wonder Swinney wants to stay out of that conversation.
But...just imagine an offense like Clemson’s, with players like Will Fuller V, Brandin Cooks and [insert running back here] with Watson under center.