Posted January 05, 2013 on
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On the 10th anniversary of their last playoff appearance, the Browns may be in unexpected fight over Oregon coach Chip Kelly.
Cleveland has been awaiting a second meeting with Kelly, the Ducks' offensive mastermind, on Saturday to hopefully complete a deal to make him the Browns' sixth fulltime coach since 1999. However, Kelly decided to keep a scheduled interview with the Philadelphia Eagles that carried into the night, delaying the Browns' second chance at signing college football's hottest coach.
Kelly and his representatives met with Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner for a reported seven hours in Arizona on Friday. They came close to reaching an agreement, but the sides parted company without a deal but with signs pointing toward Kelly leaning toward joining the Browns, who fired Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert following a 5-11.
Kelly also met with the Buffalo Bills on Friday, and he decided to keep an appointment with the Eagles, who weren't going to pursue the 49-year-old after they learned a deal between Kelly and Cleveland was near. It's possible Kelly and his agent, David Dunn, are meeting with the other teams to gain leverage with the Browns and sweeten the coach's contract.
But there's also a chance Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman are making a hard push at Kelly to steal him away from the Browns. Banner spent 19 seasons with Philadelphia, the last 12 as president, but left the club last year and has had a falling out with Lurie, a longtime friend.
Kelly nearly jumped to the pros last year with Tampa Bay but decided at the last minute to return to Oregon, where he has been coach since 2009.
NFL.com reported that the Browns met with Syracuse's Doug Marrone for a second time on Saturday as the Eagles talked to Kelly. The report said the Browns are trying to decide if they prefer Kelly or Marrone.
It's still possible the Browns will get Kelly, but it may have been harder than they thought 24 hours ago.
Haslam and Banner plan to hire a coach before they seek a general manager to pair with him. The Browns have also promised that their next coach will have final say and control over the club's 53-man roster, perks that will likely limit their talent pool when looking for a GM or pro personnel director.
Kelly went 46-7 in four years at Oregon, where his high-tempo, warp-speed offense averaged nearly 50 points per game this season. He has no pro coaching experience, but some of his offensive principles are being used by New England and Washington. Patriots coach Bill Belichick met with Kelly in the offseason and has adopted a few of the Ducks' offensive wrinkles into his schemes this season.
Following Oregon's win over Kansas State in Thursday night's Fiesta Bowl, Kelly said he hoped to have the interview process ''wrapped up quickly and figure out where I'm going to be.''
All indications are that he's headed to Cleveland, where he'll inherit a young roster that showed some promise this season.
Haslam and Banner have been in Arizona all week. They camped out there early to get first crack at Kelly and conducted at least four other known interviews before meeting with him.
Cleveland has also spoken with former Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt, Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton, Marrone and Penn State's Bill O'Brien, who removed himself from consideration Thursday and said he would return for his second season with the Nittany Lions.
The Browns are not commenting on any candidates or interviews until they hire a successor for Pat Shurmur, who was fired after going 9-23 in two seasons.
Haslam and Banner believe Kelly can fix Cleveland's franchise, which has made just one playoff appearance in 14 years. Saturday was the 10th anniversary of the Browns' last postseason game, a 36-33 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the decade since, the Browns have had nine double-digit loss seasons and changed coaches four times.
Cleveland's current run of at least 11 losses in five straight seasons is the second-longest streak of futility in NFL history. Only the Oakland Raiders (2003-2009) have had one longer.
If Kelly turns the Browns down, they would still have several quality candidates to choose from. But not landing Kelly would be a major disappointment for Haslam and Banner in their initial search.
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NewsTags: Chip KellyDon SmolenskiHowie RosemanJeffrey LuriePhiladelphia EaglesThere were reports circulating all over the internet at the start of the weekend that Oregon head coach Chip Kelly was on his way to Cleveland after meeting with team President Joe Banner on Friday. Something seems to have changed because Kelly met with...
Ducks head football coach Chip Kelly reportedly will interview with three NFL teams on Friday following Oregon's appearance in the Fiesta Bowl on Thursday.
The Oregon Ducks enter the offseason with uncertainty over coach Chip Kelly's continued tenure and possible NCAA sanctions.
But at the same time the team faces a future with a strong foundation that includes redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota and speedy sophomore running back De'Anthony Thomas.
Fifth-ranked Oregon finished this season 12-1 with a 35-17 victory...
Bad news, Browns and Eagles fans. It seems that Chip Kelly will be keeping his talents in Eugene after all.
After leading the Oregon Ducks to a victory in last night’s
Fiesta Bowl, coach Chip Kelly, who’s set to interview with the Buffalo Bills
and Cleveland Browns today, all but admitted he’s leaving the college ranks and
headed for the NFL, according to NFL.com.
"I'll talk to Dave (agent David Dunn) tomorrow,"
Kelly said after Oregon's 35-17 victory. "...
GLENDALE Ariz. De'Anthony Thomas took the suspense out of the Fiesta Bowl in 12 seconds on Thursday, taking the opening kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown.
Now, can anyone catch Chip Kelly?
Kelly has gone where no other coach has gone before -- in four years as Oregon's head coach, he has taken the Ducks to 46 victories and four BCS games.
The latest, a 35-17 humbling...
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that the Cleveland Browns are close to reaching an agreement with Oregon HC Chip Kelly.
Both the Eagles and the Bills were also mentioned as possible landing spots for Kelly, but the Browns made it pretty clear that Kelly was their main objective and it appears as though they were quite convincing during their meeting with Kelly today.
The Philadelphia Eagles took their coaching search committee to Denver to interview Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Sunday after a lengthy meeting with Oregon coach Chip Kelly on Saturday night in Arizona.
The Eagles only confirmed their meeting with Kelly after it ended. A person familiar with the situation said Kelly was nearing a deal with the Cleveland Browns on...
Oregon head coach Chip Kelly will remain with the Ducks after a 35-17 win in the Fiesta Bowl. (Photo by AP)
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Oregon’s head football coach Chip Kelly has decided to stay at Oregon for another year, rather than take up the Philadelphia Eagles’ offer to become their head coach. Kelly was interviewed by multiple NFL teams, and the Browns and Eagles...
Alright, it looks like Chip Kelly wants to go about 90 miles away from Buffalo. However, I got my Q&A back from the guys over at The Duck Stops Here and I'm not about to let it go to waste. So, let's pretend the reports are wrong like some idiot who reported that Buddy Nix was going to retire last year.
1) Can you tell me about his offense and do you think it will...
Oregon head football coach Chip Kelly had ended his latest post-season flirtation with the NFL, and will be back coaching the Ducks next season. This according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Chip Kelly turned down a chance to go to the NFL and to returned to Oregon, according to sources. Considered Eagles but stayed at Oregon.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 7, 2013...
Two hot rumors just hit the Cleveland Twitter-sphere. First, SportsRadio 94 WIP’s Brain Startare out in Philadelphia has a potentially dynamite rumor for Cleveland Browns fans:
Sources tell me Chip Kelly and the eagles are close to an agreement on a 5 year deal. If I’m right I’m golden. If wrong my source is fired
— Brian Startare (@brianstartare) January 6, 2013
Penn State coach Bill O'Brien and Syracuse coach Doug Marrone reportedly have interviewed this week for the Cleveland Browns' coaching job. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer reported Thursday said the Browns also will interview Oregon coach Chip Kelly on Friday, the day after his team competed in the Fiesta Bowl. All interviews were conducted in the Phoenix area, where the Browns...