ATLANTA -- A contrite Jim Mora insisted on Friday that he was trying to be funny when he said he would leave the Falcons to coach the University of Washington football team.
Mora's comments Thursday in an interview with Seattle radio station KJR received strong air play in Atlanta on Friday, a day before Mora's Atlanta Falcons play the Dallas Cowboys.
Mora, an alumnus of Washington, said he has a great deal of respect for Washington coach Ty Willingham but said "if that job's open, you'll find me at the head of the line with my resume in hand ready to take that job."
Mora, being interviewed by KJR's Hugh Millen and Dave Mahler, was then asked "If you're available?"
Said Mora: "It doesn't even matter if I'm available.... I don't care if we're in the middle of a playoff run. I'm packing my stuff and coming back to Seattle."
Mora issued a written statement early Friday attempting to clarify the comments. Later, the team called a news conference.
" I thought I was kidding but in listening to the replay it certainly didn't sound like that. So I apologize, " Mora said at the conference.
"I have talked with (team owner) Arthur (Blank)," Mora said. "He's disappointed in me and he should be. "
Mora said he already has proved he wouldn't leave the Falcons for a job at his alma mater.
"When that job came open two years ago I got some calls from some alumni and I was here as the head coach and I told them immediately I have no interest in being anywhere but the Atlanta Falcons," Mora said.