Oregon’s Kelly Drawing More Interest from the NFLOregon’s Chip Kelly has become one of the hottest coaching names in all of football.
In just his fourth season in Eugene, he’s turned the Ducks into an offensive juggernaut not seen since the Pete Carroll days at USC. Oregon is primed to reach its second national championship game during Kelly’s tenure and now the question becomes how long he decides to stay put.
As the midpoint of the NFL season approaches, the proverbial hot seat begins to creep up on some worried coaches. The early speculation is that Kelly will be heavily considered for any position that becomes available.
There are certainly worse hires that an NFL GM could make other than Kelly. Long known as an offensive mastermind, many in the NFL, including New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, have sought out Kelly to pick his brain.
There are many reasons, however, why NFL front offices would be hesitant to hire a college coach. More often than not, successful college coaches don’t seem to translate into successful coaches at the pro level.
Recently, though, there does appear to be some precedent to support the move up to the higher ranks. After former Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh decided to leave the Cardinal to coach the San Francisco 49ers, many questioned the hire. Just over a season and half later, no one is questioning that decision any longer.
The only question that remains is whether or not Kelly would want to leave Oregon. He flirted with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers job last year only to decide to stay at Oregon at the last minute. Ironically, another college coach, Greg Schiano, ended up taking that job.
If the Ducks win the national championship this year, there would be nothing left for him to prove at the college level. Potentially, there could be some intriguing jobs opening up soon. With the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys both struggling, there are no guarantees that either of their coaches will be back next year.
There may be an inherent comfort level of stability at the college level, especially for Kelly. With his level of success, he doesn’t have to worry about job security at Oregon. He might not have that same luxury at the NFL level.
The most important thing that Kelly is worrying about is getting his team ready to play Cal this week. Potential job offers can be worried about later. Rest assured, though, they’re likely coming.
Photo Credit: Oregonlive.com/Chip Kelly
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