I know, I know. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice... As quickly as dicey sports talk radio reports on former Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel potentially interviewing with the Cleveland Browns emerged, they were shot down by more credible NFL insiders. But leave it to some Michigan agony to breathe life into new rumors surrounding Tressel and a possible return to coaching.
After serving for a consultant for the Colts (and then head coach Jim Caldwell) in 2011 following the aftermath of the tattoo-for-bartering scandal, Tressel may find himself on the receiving end of a phone call from Caldwell once again – assuming of course the Ravens' offensive coordinator lands a head coaching job.
Less than a week after some insinuation that one current NFL head coaching candidate was considering Tressel for a spot on his staff, perhaps even as offensive coordinator, the same individual, ESPN NFL insider, Adam Caplan, is now outright suggesting that Tressel could have a place on Caldwell's staff should he get the Detroit Lions' job.
The Lions (and especially their fans) expected the Lions to hire San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt earlier in the day. But after a private plane owned by Lions ownership was unable to head to and return from San Diego with the coach, Whisenhunt was announced the new head coach of the Tennessee Titans and the Lions found themselves back at square one. Most insider reports have suggested that the Lions have now focused their efforts on Caldwell.
Tressel had a meaty talking point on how impressed he was by the way Caldwell kept a near historically bad Colts team together when things went sour:
"The (last) three games are all division games, Houston, Tennessee and Jacksonville, and both Houston and Tennessee needed to win for playoffs and home fields and stuff like that, and I'm thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I wonder how he's going to keep this thing together,'" Tressel said. "And I was amazed at how he kept that thing in order. We beat Houston, we had no business beating them. We beat Tennessee, we had no business beating them. We ended up losing to Jacksonville and it probably got them Andrew Luck, so it was a good deal.
"But to keep that group together and not fold their tent, and I think the only reason was because of how much respect they had for him. I really believe that and again I was just a guy sitting in the corner, but I mean I've never seen anything like that because usually when your hope is gone it's really hard to keep things together."
So does that mean we'll see Jim Tressel, NFL quarterbacks coach (or whatever that ultimate role might be)? Maybe. It doesn't help that Kaplan's byline secondarily lists him as "Sirius XM Radio host" (once bitten, twice shy, etc.) We'll have to wait and see.