Oregon Ducks coach Chip Kelly will keep that title instead of taking the Philadelphia Eagles job, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter and Oregon beat writer Rob Moseley. The 46-7 master of the blur offense was courted by the Eagles even after apparently turning down the Browns and interviewing with the Bills, but Phil Knight is very, very, very rich. There's certainly more to it. But Phil Knight is very rich.
Last year, Kelly turned down the Buccaneers at the last minute, reportedly because of personnel control. That's again an issue this time around. Last time, his primary prize for returning was raises for his assistants, a frequent sticking point in college coaching negotiations, as Bret Bielema to Arkansas recently proved.
With Doug Marrone and Bill O'Brien also off the board (to the Bills and back to Penn State, respectively), it's pretty safe to say the Eagles will not be hiring a college coach, though Terry Bowden forever lurks. Bruce Arians, Jay Gruden and Gus Bradley appear to be among the next names on the list.
In four years as Ducks head coach, Kelly has been to four BCS bowls, winning the most recent two, and swept the national coach of the year awards in 2010. His offensive attack has finished in the nation's top 10 for five of the last six years and in the top five for three straight years now. The two-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year was previously Oregon's offensive coordinator, plucked by Mike Bellotti from way out in New Hampshire.
The big question was whether his allegedly fancy offense would work in the NFL -- pro fans will now surely attest it wouldn't have worked out anyway, but I'd bet it would've. Multiple NFL teams have incorporated concepts similar to the ones he uses, with the Patriots among those stealing directly from Oregon. The NFL's opening up, and even if one of the country's fastest offenses (yes, just one of) won't put the pros to the speed test next year, the influence of his and other college attacks will still be felt throughout football.
His return solidifies Oregon's staff as the nation's stablest, with the entire staff holding steady for four straight years now. That's an advantage the Ducks have over everyone else in recruiting, implementation and division of labor, and getting a raise every time the head coach gets interviewed has got to be a nice perk. We'll wait and see what the numbers are there, though.
Now let's not make this whole thing a habit, Chip. Actually, nevermind. Put the NFL in its place forever. (While you were reading this, Kelly banged out next year's Week 3 game plan and is moving on to Week 4.)
Now ... time to talk about the NCAA thing.
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