NFL Not For Tressel

By Adam Caparell - October 25, 2006

Jim Tressel could well be on his way to winning his second national championship in his six years at Ohio State. But the success of Tressel with the Buckeyes and the subsequent continued disaster that is the Cleveland Browns has caused speculation to reign that the next head coach of the Browns could come from Columbus. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported earlier this week that if Browns coach Romeo Crennel were to be fired at the end of the season, Tressel could be a leading candidate to take over the job.

Not so said Tressel Tuesday.

“I’ve never spent a day in the NFL as a player or a coach and whoever thinks I’m the natural for that must not have studied too hard,” Tressel said.

Tressel signed a seven-year deal with Ohio State this year and is making roughly $2.3 million. The NFL would offer him the ability to make more money but little else.

“I’ve prided myself on being a guy that loves to be a teacher and loves to be in the collegiate environment and, as you know, we’ve got our hands full right now,” Tressel said.

Tressel is hoping to avoid the major upset when the top-ranked Buckeyes host Minnesota this weekend. But with the Michigan game still four weeks away and the anticipation growing and growing as the game gets closer, is it really possible not to look ahead to the Wolverine?

Tressel said yes.

“The Big Ten is a tough sled to get through. If you blink one time in the Big Ten you’re going to be terribly disappointed. I hope our guys, coaches and players included, have the maturity and wisdom to understand that.”

It seems the only thing between the Buckeyes and that showdown for a shot at the national title Nov. 18 is their ability to focus and not overlook their remaining opponents; Minnesota at home, two straight on the road against Illinois and Northwestern and then the Wolverines in Columbus.

But rest assured, there’s no talk about Michigan in the Ohio State locker room this week.

“Trying to stay focused on the moment, I think, is one of the great lessons that can be learned in athletics,” Tressel said. “You have some opportunities to really learn the lesson that the only way to get where you want to go and be as good as you want to be is to be focused on what’s going on this second. And we talk about that every day.”

Posted by Adam Caparell at 01:30 PM on October 25, 2006

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