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Bob Stoops: Some NFL head coaches might rather have my job

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Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press
Head coach Bob Stoops led Oklahoma to an 8-5 record last season.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is heading into his 17th season with the Sooners, and while he has had heard from some NFL teams, he said he is quite happy at Oklahoma. He also said he has a better job than some NFL head coaches.

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"I say this in a respectful, humble way," Stoops told ESPN. "But sometimes, some of those NFL guys might rather have my job. Depending on where you're at or the ownership you're working for, some of the college jobs may be better than some in the NFL."

Stoops drew interest from the Cleveland Browns before they hired Mike Pettine in 2014, and ESPN reports that Stoops "has been routinely courted by NFL clubs."

But Stoops said, "I haven't felt the need to want to pursue something different. You never say never, but everything is in place right here to have the success we all want."

Is the NFL out of the picture?

"I'm big on that: In life, everything has its time," Stoops told ESPN. "Maybe that comes at some point. Maybe it doesn't. But in the end, it needs to be the right time if I felt the need to leave here or for family reasons. ... Everything has its time. I haven't felt that time yet."

Stoops' tenure at OU is the second-longest among current FBS coaches, trailing only Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer. OU has won at least eight games in each of the past 15 seasons and has won at least 11 games 10 times under Stoops. But last season's team lost five games, and there does seem to be a question of whether Stoops' "shelf life" at OU is nearing its expiration date. OU played in a "major" bowl seven times in a nine-season stretch from 2000-08, but has been to a major bowl just twice in the past six seasons.

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Stoops is right: He does have a good job in comparison with some NFL coaches. He has a great relationship with his bosses and also is well-compensated at $5.25 million per season. He's also 54, which means he has at least 10 more years of coaching in him. Could some of those years eventually be spent in the NFL? That will be one of the more interesting coaching questions in the next few years, but he definitely seems to have the needed demeanor to deal with pro players, which makes it seem likely he eventually takes the NFL plunge. His coaching style also is appealing; he is a defense-minded coach who has had powerful and wide-open offenses.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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