Last season, Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly flirted pretty heavily with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and implied — or at least gave the impression– that he was going to leave Oregon to coach Tampa Bay. Kelly got cold feet and he bailed on the Bucs at the last minute, opting to return to Oregon for one more season.
Fast forward to 2012 and Kelly is the hottest name around when it comes to who everyone wants as their next head coach. He leads the Cleveland Browns on in making them think he’s about to become their new head coach, but Kelly got cold feet at the last minute and has decided that he’d be better off staying at Oregon for one more season.
Despite being rumored to have been sought after by as many as four NFL teams, only two have gone on record as saying they interviewed Kelly and another hired a different coach before an interview could happen. The Cleveland Browns were supposedly very close to agreeing on a deal to hire Kelly, but that turned out to either be a case of shoddy reporting or a repeat of what Kelly did to the Buccaneers last season.
As bad as the media is, I’d wager it was the latter.
All signs pointed to Kelly making the leap to the NFL this year, as besides batting his eyes at the league two straight years, Oregon is facing possible sanctions after violating the NCAA’s policy on recruiting. An investigation is ongoing into the Ducks’ recruiting habits, but most expected Kelly to do what Pete Carroll did at USC and run out of the burning house before it collapsed.
Instead, and not at all admirably, Kelly has run back into the burning house.
Cleveland implied today that it was less than flattered with how Kelly carried himself in the whole process, and didn’t at all appreciate being lead on the way they were. Ian Rappoport reported earlier in the week that a deal was on the verge of happening. Again, this was likely because Kelly heavily implied that a deal was imminent but bailed at the last second. Before he returned to Oregon, Kelly dropped by Philadelphia to try and feel wanted by the Eagles.
They apparently were open to the idea, no matter what they may say now that he’s worn out his weclome in most NFL circles.
Defenders of Kelly harped on the NFL media for not accepting Kelly’s style. They were referring to his coaching style, but it turned out that we all needed to get used to his personal style of pussyfooting around while leading NFL franchises on. Kelly’s done it two years in a row and he’s already built a legacy around it.
Kelly was supposed to be a revolutionary new head coach that was supposed to change the NFL landscape — or so his PR department said. But what actually ended up happening was an alright head coach wasted everybody’s time by blowing off a party in his honor and crapping on the rug on his way out.
Chip Kelly has done one thing though: he’s managed to build a reputation as a bad NFL head coach without ever actually coaching an NFL team.