Cleveland Browns CEO Joe Banner didn’t feel comfortable enough to go ahead and offer Chip Kelly the head coaching position. Banner felt Kelly was a risk to change his mind and throw off the Browns search, as he had done to Tampa Bay a year earlier.
Combined with the fact Kelly had never coached in the NFL, and his unconventional offense, there were too many question marks.
Banner and the Philadelphia Eagles front office were both competing for Kelly’s services, and accusations of bad mouthing were leaked to the media. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie accused Banner of trashing Philadelphia GM Howie Roseman.
However, Banner would not comment on Lurie's charges, but he did offer some insight on why Kelly isn’t coaching in Cleveland.
"We removed ourselves from the process," Banner said via Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com. "We really liked Chip. He's intriguing, a very different thinker, and very smart. But you could see he was uncertain what he wanted to do.
"He may be in Philadelphia 10 years or longer and have a terrific career. But the fact he committed to Tampa Bay last year, backed out, then seemed all year to be leaning toward going to the NFL, and then being so uncertain with us, we just felt it was too big a gamble. If there was no ambivalence, we may have offered him the job."
CEO Joe Banner tells Sports Illustrated hiring Chip Kelly too risky for Browns' taste (ohio.com)
Joe Banner: Chip Kelly was too much of a gamble (profootballtalk.nbcsports.com)
Chip Kelly deemed 'too risky' by Browns GM Joe Banner (sbnation.com)