The Philadelphia Eagles parted ways with longtime head coach Andy Reid following an ineffective showing in 2012. After a fairly exhaustive search for his replacement, the franchise considers itself very lucky to have pried offensive mastermind Chip Kelly from his perch at the University of Oregon.
However, things could have been very different for the Eagles, Kelly, and even for Texas A&M.
The Aggies, after pounding Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl and watching freshman passer Johnny Manziel win the Heisman, are primed for a run at unseating Alabama in both the SEC West and the nation in 2013.
The 12th Man, however, was almost forced to watch the team run out of the tunnel at Kyle Field without its head coach, Kevin Sumlin. According to TexAgs.com co-owner Billy Liucci, Sumlin was offered the head coaching gig at Philadelphia this offseason, before Kelly officially accepted the role.
The desire to have Sumlin on an NFL sideline was apparently not just one shared by the Eagles. CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman tweeted that Sumlin was pursued by three NFL teams this past winter.
All of that being said, take a deep breath, Aggieland. Sumlin told the San Antonio Express that while he has, indeed, had opportunities at the professional level, he has no intentions of leaving any time soon.
“I don’t have to say anything,” Sumlin said in response to his name being associated with future pro jobs. “Everybody knows what I do (now). I’ve never coached in the NFL. I’ve had plenty of opportunities to do that, both as an assistant coach and even as a head coach. But there’s a reason I coach college football, and we’ve got a lot of work to do here. We’re still playing catch-up, and we finished third in the SEC West last year (behind Alabama and LSU).
“By no means have we arrived. …”
“Maybe later — some time later,” said Sumlin, who received a $1.1 million pay bump (to $3.1 million annually) in the offseason. “But it won’t be anytime soon. My family likes living here and I like living here. Heck, we just got here. People ask me to respond to the (NFL talk), and I say, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ Because I remember what was being said at this time a year ago.
“I didn’t really respond to that last year, and there’s no reason to respond to this now.”
There may not be a reason for him to respond to stuff like this, but we will definitely be talking about it.
Because you can bet the 12th Man is.