Jim Tressel doesn’t have an interview scheduled with the Browns regarding their vacant coaching job, but he seems to be angling for one.
Tressel, who won a national championship at Ohio State, expressed a desire to work in the NFL and return to coaching during an interview with 97.1-FM in Columbus.
“I have not had discussions with Cleveland,” Tressel said Thursday. “It doesn’t mean I don’t have any interest in the NFL. I don’t want to paint that picture.”
The Browns’ coaching search is nearing the end of its second week and the team doesn’t seem interested in Tressel. A report from an Akron radio station last week that Tressel would interview was quickly shot down by a league source. Tressel started working at the University of Akron in 2012 and has been promoted to executive vice president for student success.
Tressel grew up in Berea just minutes from the Browns’ training facility because his dad, Lee, was coach at Baldwin-Wallace College. Tressel coached Ohio State from 2001-10, going 106-22 and winning the national title in 2002.
He was ousted in May 2011 after a memorabilia scandal in which he failed to report NCAA infractions by his players. He officially resigned.
Tressel, 61, worked as a consultant and replay assistant for the Colts in 2011 under coach Jim Caldwell.
“I really did enjoy that year I spent in Indianapolis,” Tressel said. “I had never really experienced the NFL from the inside. I learned good coaches like Jim Caldwell and a lot of folks in the league not only win games and draw X’s and O’s but really do a good job helping people in the early part of their lives.”
Caldwell was fired after that season, quickly ending Tressel’s NFL experience. Tressel believes he can succeed at the professional level.
“In anything you do, you better have the right people with you to give you the chance to succeed,” he said. “I think the key would be can you get the right kind of staff around you, and I feel like I’m a pretty good judge of coaches.”
Tressel was asked if he’s itching to get back into coaching.
“I don’t know if you like football how your blood couldn’t boil when you’re watching football at this time of year,” he said, referring to college bowl games and the NFL playoffs.
ESPN’s Adam Caplan reported at least one NFL head coaching candidate would consider hiring Tressel as offensive coordinator if he got a job. Caplan linked Tressel with Caldwell, who’s reportedly interviewed with the Lions, Titans and Redskins. Caldwell is Baltimore’s offensive coordinator.
Tressel was asked if he’d consider being a coordinator.
“I think it’s going to be an interesting time in the next few weeks, the next month,” he said. “I wouldn’t count anything out.”
FARMER TO INTERVIEW WITH DOLPHINS
Browns assistant general manager Ray Farmer will interview to be the Dolphins’ general manager. Miami requested and the Browns granted permission, a league source confirmed.
Farmer was hired in March and works closely with general manager Michael Lombardi, helping to manage the pro and college scouting departments. Farmer has worked in NFL personnel departments for 12 years after playing three seasons as a linebacker before a knee injury ended his career.
The Dolphins parted ways with general manager Jeff Ireland on Tuesday after six seasons. Other candidates to replace him are Titans vice president of player personnel Lake Dawson, Giants vice president of player evaluation Marc Ross, Steelers director of football administration Omar Khan and Cardinals vice president of player personnel Jason Licht, according to reports.
The Browns would consider the loss of Farmer significant. Owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner have praised him, and the front office was rearranged just to hire him. Lombardi was originally hired as vice president of player personnel but was given the GM title in order to acquire Farmer. He was director of pro personnel with the Chiefs for seven years and needed a bump in title to leave for the Browns.
CULLEN TO BUCS
New Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith announced much of his coaching staff, including Joe Cullen as defensive line coach. He held the same position with the Browns in 2013.
He’s also been defensive line coach with the Jaguars (2010-12) and Lions (2006-08).