Lincoln Riley isn’t ruling out the possibility of coaching in the NFL, but the Oklahoma football coach is making it clear once again that it would be tough for the league to pull him away from Norman.
Riley told Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer that it would “really difficult” to leave Oklahoma. He also said he has one of the best “if not the very best” job at any level of the sport.
“Hard to say, it would be really difficult to ever leave this place,” Riley said. “This place is very invested in me and my family. They gave me a great opportunity, and I think this is one of the best if not the very best job in all of football. So I don’t know. I really, really enjoy the college game. I don’t know that you can ever say never. I don’t know what the future will hold. But yeah … it’s hard to see myself ever leaving Oklahoma right now.”
That answer is consistent with what Riley told ESPN’s Adam Schefter when asked a similar question earlier this year. Never say never, but he loves where he is.
Pro teams are very interested in what Riley, 34, is doing on offense at Oklahoma. He said in the SI story that numerous NFL coaches have come to Norman to learn about what his staff is doing. Earlier this year, ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit said almost every NFL team has asked him about the Sooners offense.
Riley told Breer that he and his staff have shared some things with pro clubs and absorbed some things from those coaches as well. However, running backs coach Jay Boulware made it clear they aren’t giving away all their secrets.
When asked in April what NFL coaches want to know about Riley’s scheme, Boulware said, “Stuff we’re not going to tell them.”
If teams really want full access to Riley’s offensive mind, they’ll have to steal him away from a job that he continues to praise as one of the best in the sport, college or pro. Good luck with that.