Matt Rhule has been on the radar of NFL organizations for quite some time now. So much so that he drew serious interest from the Colts even after his first season trying to turn things around at Baylor following a 1-11 season.
Now in year three, and in the midst of one of the most impressive turnarounds in recent college football history, Rhule has led the Baylor program to being just a play away from earning an appearance in the college football playoff.
While the college coaching carousel has slowed to a halt, there is always the possibility of guys leaving for NFL opportunities, and Rhule has worked himself towards the top of the wish list of many NFL front office decision makers with his success at Temple and in Waco, coupled with his NFL coaching experience as an assistant.
On Adam Schefter's podcast, Rhule talked candidly about the mutual interest between himself and NFL jobs, and what an opportunity would have to look like for him to consider leaving for the league.
"I'm not dumb, or naive enough to to say that I would never be an NFL coach. I just think that I have such an unbelievable situation here that it would have to be next to perfect, and even then it would be hard for me to do."
Rhule then made a point that he's a believer in "never saying never," and that just like he encourages guys who are considering declaring early for the NFL Draft to explore all possible options, he believes he needs to do the same.
"I'm really content with where we are, and I think that we can be even better in the coming years. So it would have to be one of those idyllic situations where you feel like, 'Hey, I can not just go here and win. I can win at a high level for a sustained amount of time in order for me to ever leave here."
Asked what that NFL situation would have to look like for him to consider leaving, Rhule responded:
"I think A) you need to have a quarterback, and B) you need to have alignment."
"I don't think that I would ever want to see myself or any coach in a situation where you're just subcontracted out for you X's and O's knowledge. The teams that have won in college football, the Nick Saban's the Dabo Swinney's - and the people that win in pro football in the Mike Tomlin's and Bill Belichick's, they run a complete and total program. And everybody, they have different responsibilities, but everybody's aligned to the same vision."
"I think what you see when you see coaches coming in and getting fired in college and in the pros after two years, or after a year, that just means that the coach was brought in for his X's and O's. He was brought in for his play calling, and that to me is not a recipe for success."
Hear more from Rhule on Schefter's podcast below.