This whole Pitt football coaching search is starting to remind me of watching the bad guy refuse to kill off the hero in a movie. Rather, putting said hero in an 'unescapable' situation. We all know how that works out.
You've got Tom Bradley, who would be the obvious choice. Wants to be here, had success as a coordinator, knows the area, excellent recruiter, probably wouldn't need a ton of money. It's basically like the right choice is staring into the face of Steve Pederson and the selection committee, and I can see the wheels spinning in their mind, practically thinking, 'Is this a trick?' For the love of Pitt football, why on earth would you not make this move? What started out as making sure due diligence is conducted is slowly turning into annoyance with every given day. With the wave of a magic wand (or in this case, the stroke of a pen), Bradley could be here and on the job tomorrow.
Get. It. Done.
There are other quality candidates to be sure. But guess what, there are always quality candidates. If Bradley somehow doesn't work out, there will be another block of qualified guys available in a few years.
Todd Graham and Teryl Austin appear like they could be good hires. And if you read this blog, you know I wasn't a fan of Mike Haywood from the start. So I really think Pitt is going to come out of this with a better selection anyway. Bradley is my personal choice and has practically everything going for him in my mind, but Graham or Austin wouldn't bother me.
The one thing that is really starting to drive me crazy is the continued talk that Bradley isn't a good fit because the offense would be stale. Please. Pitt isn't hiring him to be an offensive coordinator, they'd be hiring him as a head coach and for his defensive philosophy. What's to stop him from going out getting a progressive offensive mind to join his staff? We don't have much of an idea of Bradley's offensive ideals, because he's never been a head coach. He may have conservative viewpoints on offense, but I think if it came down to him getting this job, he could come to some sort of compromise on those views.
The UConn stuff doesn't bother me so much because I have a hunch Bradley really wants to be here and would wait it out if he were a serious candidate ... which I think he is. So I'm not panicked about him interviewing there because I think he'd give Pitt first right of refusal unless, of course, he's given a boatload of money or feels that Pederson definitely won't give him the job.
Pederson clearly doesn't want Bradley - if he did, he would have at least interviewed him the first time around ... especially when prompted by Dan Rooney. So that is probably the stumblingblock. And, well, the AD is a pretty big stumblingblock. Pitt has others helping Pederson with the decision this time around, but will it be enough? I don't know. If Bradley is hired, how long could he co-exist with an AD who didn't want him around in the first place? Winning solves a lot of ills, but the longer this drags on, the more it seems like it's becoming personal with Pederson - like he's determined to have his own way. That may sound harsh, but I'm not buying the fact that he's all of a sudden now interested in Bradley when he wasn't before. Doesn't pass the sniff test.