Chip Kelly hot on three NFL teamís coaching radar
Cleveland Browns CEO Joe Banner is already in Arizona after reportedly interviewing Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton for the same coaching job on Tuesday. But Chip Kelly appears to be among the top candidates for the job as the Cleveland Browns are intrigued by his fast-paced, quick-strike offense. New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick also met Chip Kelly over the summer and inculcated few of his up-tempo offensive schemes into the Patriots’ system this season.
However, Chip Kelly has been deflecting questions about his possible future throughout the week. Chip Kelly walked the same line on Wednesday when he was asked if he expected to be contacted by NFL teams for a coaching opening in the next few days.
"I don't expect anything,'' said Chip Kelly. “I've said this a million times. I'm never surprised by anything. I do not know what the future holds.”
Chip Kelly seemed more focused on the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl ahead and vowed to shield the Oregon players from getting distracted by “outside influences.”
“I do know we have a football game tomorrow night and I'm going to be there,” added Chip Kelly. “I think one of the tenets of how we do things in our program is we don't let outside influences control our lives.”
The 49-year-old Chip Kelly came close to taking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ coaching job last season. However, the biggest challenge for a college coach is making the transition to NFL. The learning curve is much steeper, the talent level is deeper, recruiting isn’t a top priority and the systems can be far more complex as well.
Chip Kelly was also asked on Wednesday if he believed his up-tempo spread offense will work in the NFL.
“There's a lot of ways to play football…Trends go one way and the other,” said Chip Kelly. “I don't think anybody knows any answers until somebody does it… Any coach is going to learn from other people and see how they can implement it in their system.”
The Buffalo Bills too have their sights on Chip Kelly. Members of Buffalo Bills’ front office were in Arizona Wednesday to interview Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt. Chip Kelly is also being heavily pursued by the Philadelphia Eagles, who are headed to the Phoenix area around the weekend according to sources. Given the on-team personnel, historical success, and east coast location, the Philadelphia eagles seem a better option for Chip Kelly. According to reports, Chip Kelly is up for interviews with both teams over the weekend.
“There's a lot of great offenses out there, but does it fit with the personnel you have. The key is making sure what you're doing is giving your people a chance to be successful.”
Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden already feels he won’t fit in Chip Kelly’s run heavy offense.
“I don’t think I can run the zone read,” said Brandon Weeden.
Then again, Chip Kelly might adapt to the rookie Brandon Weeden, drafted out of Oklahoma State.