Tressel on Browns job: I wouldn’t count anything out
November 24, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes former coach Jim Tressel is held by players from his 2002 National Championship team in a game against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium.
A Columbus radio station interviewed Jim Tressel on Thursday, and it sure sounded like Tressel was campaigning for a head-coaching interview with the Cleveland Browns.
Tressel said he has not had any contact with the Browns but made clear he’d be willing to listen.
"That doesn’t mean I don’t have any interest in the NFL," Tressel told 97.1 The Fan. "I don’t want to paint that picture."
Later in the interview Tressel said he’s "in the moment" while working a non-football job at the University of Akron "but I love to watch the bowl games, the NFL (playoff) games, and I don’t know if you like football how your blood couldn’t boil watching these games at this time of year.
"Just being honest with yourself, you’re sitting there saying, ‘Oh, my gosh, wouldn’t that be fun to be a part of that?’"
Tressel said he’s at a moment in his life "Where there are a lot of things swirling around," with University of Akron president Luis Proenza retiring in the spring and the football coaching carousel in full swing.
"I think it’s going to be an interesting time here in the next few weeks, next month," Tressel said. "I wouldn’t count anything out."
Tressel, 61, was the Ohio State coach for 10 years, winning a national championship in 2002, before he was forced out in May 2011 in the aftermath of a memorabilia scandal. During the 2011 season he worked with the Indianapolis Colts as a replay assistant on game days, sitting in the press box coaches booth.
Tressel said "I really did enjoy that year I spent in Indianapolis. I had never really experienced the NFL from the inside. I learned that good coaches…not only win games and draw Xs and Os but really do have an impact on players early in their careers."
Asked during the interview what he would think about being an NFL head coach, Tressel said "I think the key would be getting the right staff around you. I think I’m a pretty good judge of coaches.
"The NFL in this day and age has become a little more college-like in that the player careers aren’t that long. Very few players end up playing 10 years. I found in college it was simply how well you could develop those relationships…that the players knew you could help them thrive in that short time. I don’t think it’s very different in the NFL. I don’t know that I would change anything. We wanted to make sure our young people knew that we cared about them."
The Browns are headquartered in Berea, where Tressel grew up while his father, Lee, coached at Baldwin-Wallace College. There’s a Tressel Street on the Baldwin-Wallace Campus, less than a mile south of the Browns training facility.
Tressel was promoted to executive vice president at the University of Akron last month, his third promotion in 19 months since starting work there. An Akron radio station reported last Friday that the Browns had set up an interview with Tressel, a report the Browns quickly refuted.