Another coach can’t cut it in the NFL

Bobby Petrino abruptly quit his job as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons and returned to the college ranks, this time with the Arkansas Razorbacks. Now while I will agree that the Falcons was one of the worst situations to be in, this is ridiculous. The Falcons traded backup quarterback Matt Schaub in the offseason and then lost their starting QB to some sort of legal problem (I am not really sure what this was about so if anyone can fill me in, let me know).

Petrino won’t even finish out the season as Falcons coach, meaning he didn’t even last one full season in the NFL. I think the biggest fallout from this will be a heavy reluctance for NFL teams to go after college coaches. After Nick Saban lasted just two seasons before bailing out (but not before emphatically denying he was leaving 9,823 times). Now Petrino can’t even last one season before jumping back to the college ranks. The trend is typically to hire coordinators from other teams for head coaching jobs but on occasion you get these college coaches who make the jump. We saw Steve Spurrier and Butch Davis both fail quickly. Spurrier lasted 2 seasons, Davis 3. From my calculations the only head coach left in the NFL that came directly from college is Oakland head coach Lane Kiffin. It could be a while before another one gets a shot. They seem to fail miserably or run away before they can.

As for Petrino, he inherits a good team in Arkansas in probably the best conference in CFB, the SEC. It will be his biggest challenge and give us a chance to see how good he really is as a college coach. Arkansas is arguably the best job available this year (and yes I say that even as a diehard Michigan fan) and while the expectations will be somewhat high, I am sure he will be given 5 years or so to make something of it.

Meanwhile the Falcons will continue on with whoever as their coach in what is one of the most disastrous seasons ever.  They will officially start over this offseason. They haven’t had a winning season since 2004 and Michael Vick was one of the most overrated players ever (seriously why did everyone think he was so good?). Now this team has no QB and basically not a lot else to get excited about. With Petrino it was almost a lock that they took Brian Brohm in the draft, now they might make a smarter choice. If Darren McFadden is there, he should be their guy. We should see.


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