Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/2/13
The Cleveland Browns have targeted Chip Kelly as their top candidate to fill the team's head-coaching vacancy, according to multiple reports. New Browns chief executive officer Joe Banner traveled to Arizona on Tuesday to interview Kelly, CBSSports.com reported. The Oregon coach is preparing the Ducks to face Kansas State on Thursday night in the Fiesta Bowl. While in Arizona, Banner reportedly interviewed Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton for the head-coaching position. A Sirius XM report has identified Kelly is the Browns' No. 1 candidate. Kelly also is the potential top choice of the Philadelphia Eagles, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Kelly deflected questions this week about the NFL openings during media interviews before the bowl game. "I've got a game to play," Kelly said. "We're playing in the Fiesta Bowl. That's the biggest thing in my life. If I allowed other things to get into my life, then they would be distractions, but there aren't. Our focus 100 percent is on the Fiesta Bowl. "My heart is to win today and that's it. I know everybody wants to hear a different answer. And I know that at times when I don't give you guys the answer that you guys want, then I'm being evasive. I'm not being evasive." Kelly has guided Oregon and its high-octane offense to four straight BCS bowl games and a 45-7 record in four seasons. The Ducks are 11-1 this year. The Plain Dealer of Cleveland listed Kelly, Penn State coach and former New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien and Syracuse coach Doug Marrone as the Browns' top candidates. Fox Sports reported that the Browns and the Buffalo Bills were set to interview Marrone this week. The Browns told The Plain Dealer that they won't comment on the search until a coach is hired. Kelly, 49, turned down an offer last year to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he might be more likely to entertain NFL offers this year because of looming NCAA sanctions against Oregon for recruiting violations.
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