Texas Longhorns

Red McCombs says he preferred Jon Gruden over Charlie Strong as the next head football coach at the University of Texas

DFW Sports Musings for Jan. 12

The name is “Red” not Burnt Orange

By Matthew Postins


Hey, Red McCombs – Who asked you, anyway?

“I think it is a kick in the face,” McCombs said about the hiring of Charlie Strong. “Beyond the fact of what actually happened. We have boosters that have a lot of knowledge about the game. When we decided to go get Mack — from the time we decided to go get Mack to about 30 hours later to have a press conference here and it was done — we had a lot of input before we went after him. So I don’t know what the big rush was. I was kind of pleased that [Texas athletic director Steve] Patterson already said that he’d like to get it done in the middle of January. That seemed logical to me. I’m a team player, but I think they went about it wrong and made the selection wrong.”

McCombs went on to say later that he was courting Jon Gruden for the job, even though he wasn’t on the search committee, and that Gruden was keenly interested.

There are so many things wrong with this I can’t even decide where to start. McCombs basically said his money entitles him to determine who the next coach is. We’ve seen it before and we’ll see it again in college sports. But money does not ensure football expertise, Red. How many Super Bowls did you win when you owned the Minnesota Vikings? That’s right, Red. None. How many titles did you win when you owned the San Antonio Spurs, Red? That’s right, none.

You want to know part of the reason why people like David Shaw, Jim Mora and Art Briles turned down the chance to interview? Because of the toxic environment around Mack Brown’s “resignation,” created in part by boosters like you, Red.

You want to ream out the athletic director, Steve Patterson, for not consulting you? Go for it. Just do it behind closed doors and hang up the phone when Chip Brown or someone else calls you for a quote.

Let’s clear up the whole Jon Gruden thing right now. He will never coach in college. Never. I don’t care how “interested” McCombs says Gruden was. He’s a pro coach and he always will be a pro coach. The last time Gruden was a college coach was in 1989 at the University of the Pacific. He’s been an NFL coach for more than 20 years since. If he goes back to coaching he’ll do it in the NFL.

Think about it – practically every glamour college opening in FBS has had a job opening since the Buccaneers fired him after the 2008 season. And he still doesn’t have a job. All he has to do is pick up a phone and get a job, people. That’s all he has to do.

Write it down, put in a time capsule and dig it up in 20 years – Jon Gruden will never be a college head coach.

I saw Jay Gruden being interviewed by ESPN earlier this week after taking the Redskins job. Stick him in a dark room with his brother and have them talk to you and I defy you to tell the difference. Eerie.

Texas Aggies

Could Johnny Manziel be drafted by the Dallas Cowboys
Photo By Rattle and Hum Sports

Someone please chain Jerry Jones to a chair for the next four months. Johnny Manziel is coming out early. Unless, of course, Manziel gains 60 pounds and starts playing defensive line between now and the NFL Draft. Then let Jerry out of the chair so he can completely ignore Manziel.

The Cowboys do need a backup plan at quarterback, and you’ll hear plenty about that the next few months. But it doesn’t have to be Johnny Manziel. Aside from the obvious price it would take to draft him, let’s throw this out there – he doesn’t even fit Jason Garrett’s system. Which probably doesn’t concern you if you believe Garrett isn’t long for the job, I suppose.

Don’t fret about the lack of Cowboys coaching changes yet. They’re coming. Remember – it took Jones a few weeks to fire Rob Ryan after the 2012 season. I would expect to see some staff attrition either before or around the Senior Bowl.

Will McClay, the assistant director of pro personnel, will take over putting together the Cowboys’ draft board in 2013. Pro personnel means he’s the guy responsible for keeping an eye on pro players on other teams to sign, so he’s responsible for finding George Selvie, among others. One wonders if Jerry Jones will draft to the board in May and not try to maneuver around. Oh, what am I saying – we know he’s not going to do that. Sorry, Will. Thankless job you’re undertaking, my friend.

Derek Holland has surgery on his knee. A freak fall in his home caused Holland to tear cartilage in that knee and he’ll be out until midseason. That sound you hear is General Manager Jon Daniels furiously pounding the keypad on his smartphone.

I’ll just throw this out there – Matt Garza is still available. I’m just saying. Actually, I’m expecting the words “Rangers showing interest in Masahiro Tanaka” to show up on the Internet any second now.

By the way, Dwayne Harris had shoulder surgery earlier this week. Makes sense. He hurt everything else last season.

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