Commentary: Del Rio Has No Leverage
Commentary By Channel 4 Sports Director Sam Kouvaris
It?s always quick when coaching changes take place.
Pete Carroll said the offer from the Seattle Seahawks ?came out of nowhere.? I?m sure Jim Mora Jr. thought the same thing when he was fired a week after the season concluded.
Carroll didn?t have much success in the NFL the last time around, but times change and perhaps he?ll figure out what he needs to do to run a professional operation this time around. (Remember, Seattle, the team that just fired their head coach, beat the Jaguars like a drum, 41-0 this year).
So as soon as the word got out that Carroll was interested in Seattle, speculation ran rampant regarding his replacement at Southern Cal.
Somebody at ESPN put Mike Riley?s name up as a possible replacement and all of a sudden, Riley became the front-runner. No reason, except at Oregon State he beat USC last year and he?d worked in Southern California and for USC in the past.
So the list started to grow, and college administrators started to get anxious. Riley signed an extension and said he wasn?t going anywhere.
Steve Sarkasian, the former offensive coordinator at Southern Cal, said they hadn?t called. Jeff Fisher and Chris Peterson said they weren?t interested.
So as the speculation moved down the list, Jack Del Rio?s name bubbled somewhere near the top. Part of the reason Jack?s name remains on the list is because he hasn?t taken it off by denying any interest.
And he?s supposed to meet with Wayne Weaver this week (Tuesday). Weaver isn?t going to get rid of Del Rio, but he won?t keep him from taking the USC job either.
I?m sure Wayne thinks his team is starting to take shape and there are several coaches who, along with Gene Smith, can make them a winner pretty soon.
This isn?t like the LSU dalliance Jack had a few years ago. He has no leverage. He?s not getting a raise over the $5 million a year he?s making, and at around .500, he?s not in demand anywhere.
Wayne is probably going to get his money?s worth from Jack, and if Del Rio is going to be interested in the Southern Cal job, Weaver will move on without a second thought.
While Southern Cal is one of the schools that doesn?t have to panic and put somebody in place right away to keep the recruiting season going, they don?t want to drag their feet either.
Del Rio might be a good fit in Southern California, having played there and having ties to the region and the school, but he?s not what stokes the fires of big boosters.
His personality is very cool as opposed to Pete Carroll. He?s not a big glad hander. He?s a football coach, and the pro game is suited for him.
All of this speculation won?t last long. The whole process should be over in a day or two.
One thing that has come out of this though: Jack?s not real popular among the Jaguars fan base.
Although I?ve been saying it for a while, his personality hasn?t grabbed anybody?s attention or sold any tickets. He?ll be tolerated if he wins, but nobody?s rushing down to the stadium to see Jack coach.
Perhaps the shame of it is that it?s so easy for any coach to be a superstar in this town. They just have to be a part of this town as well.
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