Oregon head coach Chip Kelly will interview with the Cleveland Browns on Friday, according to an ESPN report. Kelly and the Ducks are in Arizona preparing for Thursday night's Fiesta Bowl against Kansas State. Browns CEO Joe Banner was reportedly in Arizona this week to interview Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton, but also with an eye on a meeting with Kelly.
While meeting with the media in Arizona, Kelly deftly danced around questions about the speculation of his jump to the NFL. In a new wrinkle, it was reported by Ian Rapoport on Wednesday that Kelly "would NOT require total control of football ops to take an NFL job."
Kelly's fast-paced spread option offense has become more and more attractive to NFL front offices. The league is more receptive to offenses with traditionally college elements, which are succeeding in the NFL -- most notably with Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins this year (highlighted by Chris Brown). Kelly discussed his offense with the media in Arizona and sharply distinguished his system from the pistol that the Redskins are utilizing.
Kelly flirted with the jump to the NFL last offseason, as he was reportedly interested in the opening with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before deciding to return to Oregon. With the spate of firings in the NFL, Kelly promptly became the top target of both the Browns and the Eagles, according to reports.