With turnover among NFL head coaches at its annual Black Monday zenith, club executives looking to make a move need not place a call to Stanford coach David Shaw. The Pac-12 championship the Cardinal just won under Shaw will be a building block for his program, rather than his career, at least for now.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Shaw is coveted at the pro level, and that he intends to remain at Stanford despite the opening with the San Francisco 49ers, and another potential opening to come with the Indianapolis Colts. While Shaw's success at Stanford is undeniable, his background as an NFL offensive assistant no doubt is part of his allure to NFL clubs, as well. Shaw performed various roles with the Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders, Baltimore Ravens and San Diego Chargers for 10 years.
However, while Shaw appears to be holding his cards, two other coaches at top college programs appear to be playing them.
NFL Media's Mike Silver reported that UCLA coach Jim Mora and Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin are both "trying hard" to take their coaching careers to the pro ranks. Mora just completed his worst season with the Bruins, an 8-5 finish that included a 5-4 Pac-12 record and a loss in the Foster Farms Bowl to Nebraska, 37-29. Mora is losing extensive talent among underclassmen to the NFL draft, including linebacker Myles Jack, defensive tackle Kenny Clark and running back Paul Perkins, among others.
Sumlin had a tumultuous year with the Aggies in which he was criticized for his handling of his top two quarterbacks, Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray, both of whom are transferring out of the program. Like Mora's Bruins, Sumlin's team finished 8-5 with a bowl loss. A key difference between the two where their potential as pro coaches is concerned is experience. Sumlin has no NFL experience, while Mora has extensive NFL experience, including four years as a head coach with two clubs (Falcons, Seahawks).