Baylor Bears

Baylor best to embrace Matt Rhule while bracing for his future departure to the NFL

The only scenario worse for Matt Rhule this offseason would have been had the Arizona Cardinals offered him their head coaching position, but they didn’t because he’s not pretty enough.

In an offseason battle that did not receive the type of notoriety it warranted, Waco upset New York City on the strength of its glorious “Gut Pack,” George’s, and our good friends Chip and Joanna.

Why else would Matt Rhule, a native New York-ah himself, elect to remain at Baylor rather than coach the New York Jets?

Answer: Because the J-E-T-S are a M-E-S-S, MESS! MESS! MESS!

When Rhule accepted the Baylor job I always thought he would leave for the NFL. An NFL friend told me Rhule was highly regarded in NFL circles, and it would make sense that he would use Baylor to vault to the land of Giants, but not the Jets.

And Rhule would be wise to leave Baylor, but only for the job he wants, and how he wants it.

WOULD MATT RHULE LEAVE BAYLOR?

I asked Rhule if he could allay the fears of Baylor fans that he is destined to leave their school.

“I’ll give you the most real answer I can give you: When I took the job at Baylor I said that I felt we had been called to come to Baylor,” he said. “I try to pray about it and meditate about it. Do the things I’m supposed to do.

“I plan on being at Baylor for as long as that’s where the Lord wants me to be. If at some point he wants me to do something else, stop coaching, then I’ll go do that. There is not a part of me that looks to leave. I really, really like the job. I really like where I live. I like the way my family is being raised and the people that we are around.

“In my coaching career every time I go out in recruiting people say, ‘Hey, be careful he’s going to be gone next year.’ Either because they thought I’d be fired or we’d win and I’d take a job. I’m going to do the best job I can at Baylor. Every day I’m going to wake up and act as if I’m going to be here the next 50 years. And if the time comes where I feel like I’m supposed to do something else, I’ll do it and I’ll be honest and up front with people.

“But I really like this job. It’s a special, special place. It fits me and fits my family and I hope to be there for a while.”

Translate that however you want. It’s as honest as he can be, while leaving open a Texas-sized window should he want to leave.

As long as Rhule doesn’t Nick Saban, or Bobby Petrino, your school is about as good as one can hope these days.

MATT RHULE WAS SMART TO PASS ON THE NEW YORK JETS?

Rhule turned down the Jets’ offer to be their head coach because they refused to grant him full power to arrange his coaching staff to his own desires. Rhule called it an arranged marriage.

Of course the Jets would put such stipulations on a coach.

And only desperate coaches accept such stipulations. For example, Wade Phillips did in 2007 when Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told him if he wanted to be his head coach, Jason Garrett would be his offensive coordinator.

It’s one thing for a team to have a general manager who makes personnel decisions, but quite another for a person who tells the head coach who can and can’t be his assistants.

Rhule doesn’t need the Jets. He has a good job where he makes a pile of cash in a place where winning eight or nine games will always be warmly received.

WHY MATT RHULE SHOULD LEAVE BAYLOR

If Rhule’s dream is to coach in the NFL, he will find his prayers answered one day.

He can go to the NFL, and should that not work out, he has proven he can win on the college level in the hardest of jobs; he won at Temple and Baylor. He can always go back to the college level.

Baylor fans can’t begrudge him if he leaves, or looks, for that is the world in which both players and coaches operate: Everyone leaves for a better opportunity. Being angry at this development is akin to throwing a fit at the ocean.

Guys like TCU’s Gary Patterson, Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz or a few others are no longer the rule. Rhule is the rule.

“If someone gives him an opportunity like that he should respect the opportunity. You never want to burn any bridges,” Baylor offensive lineman Sam Tecklenburg said. “When people reach out to you like that, it’s the right thing to show them the respect and return the favor.

“It would not surprise me (if Rhule went to the NFL). His style is going to translate to any level. If he’s comfortable in what he’s done here, and wants to take that next step, he’ll fit right in up there.”

The New York Jets were not a better opportunity than Baylor football. The Jets are merely a ticket to be fired, with a nice seven figure parting gift.

If he’s going to the NFL, he should go to the place he wants to go, where can set it up to his preferences.

College coaches on Rhule’s level make enough that they don’t need the NFL’s money.

Nonetheless, after two years of looking at the NFL, Baylor fans, and administrators, should expect the good Lord will advise Rhule to take an NFL job.

So just take it as a compliment your head ball coach blew off the NFL because he thinks a Gut Pack, George’s and Chip and Joanna are better than the Jets.

Because he’s right.

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