Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Should the Seahawks and Mora Quash the Huskies Job Speculation?

by: Michael Steffes

There are a lot of storylines right now if you want to talk about the Seahawks. Can they beat the Eagles? Will Matt Hasselbeck really be back? Red Bryant: Man or Beast? (That one is a personal favorite of mine.) However, everywhere you look, the story that is being talked about is whether or not Jim Mora is a coaching candidate for the Huskies' head coaching job. I don't want to break the hearts of all you Husky supporters, but Jim Mora is almost certain to fulfill his obligation to the Seahawks.

First off, an NFL coaching job is a special gig. There are 32 of them, and they are the pinnacle of the football coaching profession. Jim Mora made a splash as an NFL head coach. He made some mistakes that he would probably take back if he could, but he also led a team to the final four. He has never finished a season with less than 7 wins. He has never coached a college team before. He was once a graduate assistant, yes, but let's be realistic: college football is about a lot more than football. In the NFL, you draft and you play; no grades, no parents, no boosters, etc. If Mora is good enough to be an NFL coach--and he has proven he is--then why would you go backwards?

The argument would be that he loves the Huskies and that coaching them is his dream job, which was something he said in jest while talking with some radio hosts years ago, and that comment got him fired by Arthur Blank. But right now, if you look at it objectively, is the Husky program anybody's dream job? It is hard to imagine it is. The program is looking at a winless season and a lost year of recruiting, and on top of that they also have a brand new athletic director who will be feeling his way out as well. Even if the Seahawks were to admit that they are a rebuilding project, which they don't need to do, in the NFL a team can rebuild a lot faster than one in the college ranks. Just look at the Atlanta Falcons.

Finally, Mora is going to be paid close to $5 million per year for coaching the Seahawks. The last Husky coach, Ty Willingham, was making $1.3 mil per year, with some of it deferred. If we assume that coaching the Huskies really is his dream job, they would have to be close on pay, because they are no longer offering him the opportunity to come home and raise his family in Seattle, which is what was originally important to Mora. Truth be told, the Huskies waited too long and missed out on a chance at snagging Jim Mora.

Unfortunately, most of the people who are talking about the Huskies job don't see that. They continue to bring Mora's name up as a dark horse candidate. Behind the scenes, the Seahawks have said that they have an "ironclad" agreement with Mora to coach the team. However, is it time for them to let Mora speak or issue a statement, much like Gary Pinkle did, and quash the speculation once and for all. The Seahawks don't need distractions right now. They don't need anything else to overcome. They need to focus on the Eagles, and then the Dolphins, and then Cardinals, etc., not the Huskies and future coaching gigs.

Since Husky fans will continue to dream of Jim Mora wearing purple and gold next year, the Hawks and Jim Mora need to tell them it isn't going to happen. ~END~