Monday, January 23, 2012

Chip Kelly leaving Oregon for the NFL? (UPDATED AT BOTTOM)

Multiple news organizations reported Sunday that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were close to hiring their new head coach.

And it's University of Oregon coach Chip Kelly, according to KGW-TV (and others).
A source close to the situation said Kelly will make the jump to the NFL if he can come to terms on a contract.
Kelly has been Oregon's head coach for three years, winning the conference title in all three, reaching three straight BCS games. The crowning achievement coming three weeks ago, when the Ducks won their first Rose Bowl game in 95 years.
Kelly's jump to the NFL has been rumored since Oregon won the Jan. 2 Rose Bowl. The Miami Dolphins were among the teams interested in him. And just a couple days ago so were the Indianapolis Colts.

My surprise comes from Kelly having that not quantifiable but identifiable "it" that set him up for long-term success at Oregon. The Ducks program essentially can recruit itself. The style of offense Kelly runs ensures that all kinds of athletes will want to play there. And there are few programs on the West Coast that have the national reputation Oregon does.

With all this, I wonder why he wants to skip to the NFL. I can't see Kelly's wide-open offensive attack working in the NFL. I'm not at all implying that he cannot adapt to a different style, but I am saying he's taking a bit of a risk.

Yes, there are college coaches who have succeeded in moving to the NFL. Jim Harbaugh set the San Francisco 49ers on fire in just one year. But the list of those who did move, only to hate it or fail miserably at it is long: Lou Holtz, Steve Spurrier and Bobby Petrino are three names that come to mind.

Yes, I'm in disbelief. Unless, of course, the NCAA is about to start sniffing around the program...hmmm.

Keep in mind that as the rumors about Kelly reached an almost out-of-control level Sunday night that the University of Oregon's athletic department did nothing to stop them. Mr. Kelly didn't either.

1st UPDATE: 10:12 a.m. EST:  Nope. Ain't happening. CBSSports.com reports that Mr. Kelly has suddenly become a politician -- he pulled a flip-flop and is no longer interested in a job he was once interested in.
On Sunday afternoon, we had the news that Oregon coach Chip Kelly was a prime candidate for the Buccaneers head coaching job, and overnight Monday, it appeared that he had decided to take the job.

Now, it appears that he’s reversed course and will stay at Oregon.

That’s according to CBSSports.com's Bryan Fischer, who writes that a source said via text message, "I don't know what to say... he changed his mind."

One report from a Portland radio station Sunday stated that Kelly was "working to finalize a deal that would make him head coach of the Tampa Bay Bucs,” and the Tampa Bay Tribune wrote that the Glazer family had met with Kelly last week and “both Kelly and the Bucs are proceeding down a path they mutually hope will result in an agreement in the next 24-48 hours."

Early Monday morning, the Eugene Register Guard reported simply that the deal “was done.” But apparently, soon after he had made a decision, he reversed course and decided to stay in Eugene.

"His heart is with college football and Oregon and he's no longer being considered,'' general manager Mark Dominik told the Tampa Bay Times.
Would you want to play for this man?

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