Could Peyton Manning one day return to Tennessee as a coach?
On Wednesday, Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman reported that the recent retiree "wants to coach his alma mater." Whether it's true or not, the current coach at Tennessee, Butch Jones, was asked about it.
"We talk all the time and I think anything Peyton Manning does, he'll be successful," said Jones of the future Hall of Famer. "But coaching is a completely different animal than playing, as any great player would tell you.
"But, again, I welcome him any time he wants to come in to Tennessee and spend time with our players. He's been great that way. He's been very willing to do that. We've been very fortunate and blessed to have him be a part of our teams, coming in and speaking to (them), and this year will be the same."
It's an odd position for Jones to be in, really. The story about Peyton simply says that Manning "wants to coach his alma mater." It doesn't say that Manning wants to be an assistant coach at Tennessee or start out with the quarterbacks and work his way up. It just says he wants to coach Tennessee.
Currently, it's Butch Jones' job. It wouldn't make much sense for Jones to come out and say "he should coach Tennessee! Fire me and bring him in, he'll be great!" At the same time, he's still Peyton Manning, and he's still a huge part of Tennessee football's past, so Jones can't outright dismiss the notion, either.
Whether Manning ever actually returns to the sidelines as a coach, I'm not sure, but I have my doubts. This is a man who has made a lot of money during his NFL career, and makes even more in endorsements. I just don't think it's practical for him to give up as much of his life as he would need to in order to become an actual college football coach.
Particularly when there will be no shortage of networks willing to pay him even more money to spend a few hours sitting in a television studio and talking football every weekend.
Sure, the idea of coaching might be intriguing to Manning, but the reality of the situation probably wouldn't be as appealing.