Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Iowa's Kirk Ferentz linked to Cleveland Browns' coaching job

Report says NFL’s Browns have eye on Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz.

Getty Images

Report says NFL’s Browns have eye on Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz.

TAMPA — Twenty-four hours before kickoff, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz still was being lobbed NFL questions in the wake of reports linking him to the Cleveland Browns' vacancy.

And while reiterating his happiness with his current job, which he has held for 10 years, Ferentz, 53, stopped short of saying he would not pursue an NFL post if the opportunity arose.

"(The NFL speculation) seems to be a drill right now," Ferentz said Wednesday at his bowl pregame news conference. "So be it."

The Boston Herald reported Tuesday that Browns owner Randy Lerner is prepared to make a "huge" offer to New England Patriots personnel director Scott Pioli to run the team and hire Ferentz — Pioli's first choice as coach. Pioli and Ferentz worked together in Cleveland 15 years ago.

"Basically for my first interview in Cleveland, he's the guy that got assigned to drive me back in the van to the airport. I had my tail between my legs and he said, 'You didn't do that bad,' " Ferentz said, drawing laughter.

"We've been great friends all the way through, and I have tremendous respect for Scott as a football guy. … I would just caution everybody, don't try to predict what Scott's going to do either. He's got a great job, and he's well aware of that."

Playoff stance softened?: South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, one of the most outspoken advocates of a playoff while at Florida, said he's now "sort of neutral on the subject," at least until the Gamecocks get in the national title picture.

"When we get a team that's fighting for a national championship, then maybe those teams are the ones rooting for a playoff," he said. "Our goals are to try to win our division first and win an SEC and not worry about the national (title) right now."

Ferentz said he favors the status quo. "If we went to a plus-one I think that's workable," he said. "But anything beyond that is sort of unrealistic and not really in the best interest of college football. Just one person's opinion."

half-century mark: The game will be Iowa senior DT Matt Kroul's 50th consecutive start, the third longest by a Division I player, according to the school's bowl media guide. Kroul (53 tackles in 2008) set the school record for consecutive starts in the season finale at Minnesota. "(Kroul's record) is going to be tough to beat, especially in this day and age," Ferentz said. "I'd venture to say it would be very unusual for a lineman because it's just so unusual when a young lineman plays every game of his career basically."

Odds and ends: Both coaches reported no curfew violations or off-field issues as of Wednesday morning. … Spurrier, who turns 64 in April, reiterated that he intends to coach another four or five years, then hang it up. "I've been saying that the last 10 years, but I really mean it this time," he said. … South Carolina's all-time record: 528-528-44.

Spurrier quip of the day: On QB Stephen Garcia, a former Jefferson High standout: "Hopefully someday he'll give one of those (Tim) Tebow statements where he says, 'No quarterback in the nation will work harder than I will, and no quarterback will try to get his team ready to play harder than I will.' Hopefully someday Stephen can say that."

Joey Knight can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3350.

Iowa's Kirk Ferentz linked to Cleveland Browns' coaching job 12/31/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 31, 2008 7:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-Louisville


    1. One of the many hard-to-believe stats about FSU's underperforming defense: DE Brian Burns led all freshmen nationally with 9 ½ sacks last year; his first one this season came midway through the second quarter Saturday.

    TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 21: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Louisville Cardinals runs the ball into the endzone for a touchdown during their game against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) 775042617
  2. Late fumble, field goal send Florida State to another loss


    TALLAHASSEE — Florida State's streak of 35 consecutive bowl appearances is in serious jeopardy after a last-second 31-28 home loss to Louisville on Saturday.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson gets past Florida State's Matthew Thomas to score in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Tallahassee Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) FLSC102
  3. Bucs-Bills: Tampa Bay's fatal habit of falling behind


    TAMPA — Okay, all you road scholars, why do the Bucs keep falling behind in games not played at Raymond James Stadium?

    Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) recovers a fumble during the first half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  4. Nicked-up Lightning vs. Penguins tonight



  5. What we've learned from the Bucs' and Bills' playoff droughts


    Is it possible for the Buccaneers and Bills to be any farther off the NFL's radar? You get the feeling schedule-makers didn't think twice about putting this one down for 1 p.m. Sunday — the let's-hope-no-one-notices time slot.

    [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]