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Return to Ducks a realistic possibility for Chip Kelly

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - Oregon v Kansas State Getty Images

Well, this is certainly a somewhat unexpected development.

In the days leading up to and immediately after Oregon’s Fiesta Bowl win Thursday night, it was widely expected that Chip Kelly would leave the Ducks for a job in the NFL.  The head coach interviewed with at least three pro teams — Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles — with the common presumption being Kelly had closed the book on his collegiate coaching career.

If that book was closed, it’s open again.

According to Peter King of and NBC Sports, “Kelly’s going to choose between Oregon and the Eagles.”  One team is apparently out of the mix as Chris Mortensen of ESPN writes that the Browns “will reboot coach search without Chip Kelly in the fold.”

Both the Browns and Eagles have flown out of Arizona, the site of the interviews, with no answers from Kelly.

The situation involving Kelly and the NFL is still very fluid, though, as Jason La Confora of says that “the Browns and Eagles go on about their searches, with one eye still on Chip Kelly, and we’ll see what Kelly tells his team.”  There’s speculation that Oregon will hold a meeting at some point Monday to apprise the Duck players of the coaching situation.

What’s been a growing storyline woven into the will he/won’t he dance, however, is that Kelly is not comfortable with the NFL opportunities presented to him and is seriously contemplating a return to the Ducks. “Don’t rule out Chip Kelly staying at Oregon. In fact, I’d say, after sniffing around more, there’s just as much a chance he stays than goes,” Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote.  Mortensen takes it a step further, saying that the “[m]ajority of league folks believe [returning to] Oregon” will be the ultimate result of the latest round of flirtations.

Kelly’s return to Eugene would be a huge boon for the football program and its fans on at least two fronts.

One, obviously, is that the Ducks would retain a head coach that built UO into a national football powerhouse.  In Kelly’s four seasons as head coach, the Ducks have gone 46-7, played in four BCS bowls and won three Pac-12 championships.

Secondly, this might be the last time, at least for a while and if Kelly returns, that UO has to be concerned about their coach bolting for the NFL.  After pulling out of a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last January, and stringing along two NFL clubs this January, organizations around the professional ranks will likely be hesitant — if not outright refuse — to waste the put in the time to woo Kelly in the future.

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25 Responses to “Return to Ducks a realistic possibility for Chip Kelly”
  1. mungman69 says: Jan 6, 2013 1:32 PM

    He will go back to school. He never wanted to leave in the first place plus Joe Banner looks like a sneak. Philly don’t want him neither.

  2. swu32733 says: Jan 6, 2013 1:46 PM

    It would likely pose a significant economic disadvantage to leave the riches of Nike U for the relative poverty of the NFL. Of course that cheating scandal continues to lurk in the background at Oregon.

  3. cranespy says: Jan 6, 2013 1:57 PM

    He should stay…….give it one more year…..then choose between Jets, Giants, Cowboys, Bengals, Panthers….all but Carolina are much better choices than what’s on the NFL table now!

  4. cobrawolf says: Jan 6, 2013 2:04 PM

    His system will not work in the NFL, better to stay in the college ranks

  5. tmb333 says: Jan 6, 2013 2:14 PM

    He will never leave O. He just likes the attention. The NFL will figure that out and write him off.

  6. allan357 says: Jan 6, 2013 2:29 PM

    It’s certainly his right to stay if he wants, but at some point, his annual chat with NFL execs will probably not be the healthiest thing for recruiting.

  7. rashardmendenballs says: Jan 6, 2013 2:33 PM

    This guy does not have the “rocks” to compete with 31 other coach’s that are on the same exact level (scouting, drafting and developing talent) and where margin for error is razor thin.

    Also, I cannot believe how Phil is getting “played like a fiddle” just so Chip can get another raise. Apparently he does not remember when Oregon was out-coached and lost to a fundamentally sound Stanford team.

  8. hardballtalkusername says: Jan 6, 2013 2:38 PM

    Yes mungman69, Philly doesn’t want him, which is why they spent some 7 hours interviewing him yesterday.

  9. hardballtalkusername says: Jan 6, 2013 2:41 PM

    So when he was rumored to have been leaving for the NFL it was “he’s bailing because of sanctions” and now that it is possible he stays it’s because he doesn’t have “the rocks.” Haters gonna hate. Best of luck to you Chip, whatever you decide to do.

  10. wolftalkblog says: Jan 6, 2013 2:45 PM

    I don’t care what Chip Kelly does.

  11. pickney1 says: Jan 6, 2013 3:16 PM

    The money by Nike President Phil Knight and truly having the ultimate control of being a college head coach makes leaving the University of Oregon hard to do.

    At the end of the day he should not take for granted the opportunity he has in front of him of being a wanted man in college or in the NFL.

  12. addict2sport says: Jan 6, 2013 3:19 PM

    The potential sanctions are obviously not as detrimental as some had thought, or maybe even hoped, they’d be. No way Chip stays if the penalties were significant.

  13. gfj7000 says: Jan 6, 2013 3:30 PM

    2027446867 Sent from Huawei Mobile

  14. seanemac75 says: Jan 6, 2013 3:57 PM

    Chip Kelly is going to burn his bridges to the NFL. He screwed Tampa last year. Now the long flirtation with Cleveland and Philly leaving bith teams turning in the wind. I don’t trust him.

  15. burgandy2260 says: Jan 6, 2013 3:58 PM

    He should’ve stayed put in the first place. There is no way his offense will work in the NFL. Players won’t respond to it and 30 yr old 300lb linemen won’t fair as well as 21 yr old linemen do at Oregon. I believe he wants the power of a 15 yr HC with the experience of a rookie and what team would do that? Vick isn’t the answer to the QB issues in Phil doing Chip’s offense either!

  16. vincentbojackson says: Jan 6, 2013 5:24 PM

    Go back to Oregon and face the impending NCAA sanctions like a man.

    Don’t pull a Pete Carroll

  17. bat42boy says: Jan 6, 2013 6:04 PM

    Looks like he played everyone for suckers. He never had any intention of leaving Oregon. What a waste of time. All he got was some free, high class, expensive meals. Suckers..Suckers..Suckers!!!

  18. kozbee says: Jan 6, 2013 6:05 PM

    I think Chip has alot better chance as of now to win a National Championship then a Superbowl,he better think about it.

  19. joeychargers says: Jan 6, 2013 7:33 PM

    “Well, this is certainly a somewhat unexpected development.”


    Not really. I’m not surprised at all. I think he’s smart for testing the waters (with the interviews).

    Once the Ducks finally win a National Championship under Kelly, he’ll have some more knowledge of how the process works.

    Smart move on his part, people should stop talking so much trash about him, he’s a great coach and is going to do just fine if he decides to take it to the next level.

  20. gfj7000 says: Jan 6, 2013 8:34 PM

    To: burgandy2260
    In response to one of your (and a couple of others’) comments – about ‘Chip’s system of offense would NOT work in the NFL, the players won’t accept it’ – Well another ESPN sports article recently reported (by name) that Belicheck of New England had met with Kelly several months ago to discuss & get advice on How Kelly has implemented his spread offense so well at the college level. Belecheck has taken some of those ideas and has now implemented some of Kelly’s ideas this year (along with a couple of other coaches). So much for your comments.

  21. gfj7000 says: Jan 6, 2013 9:17 PM

    rashardmendenballs – Hey Sir-
    If Phil is being ‘played like a fiddle’ to keep Chip @ Oregon rather than him going on to the NFL where his OFFENSIVE system would sell very well, since you’re saying that Chip is just going to get another raise – well HE DESERVES IT! – WOULDN’T YOU? if your team ends up at #2 in the country. It’s not just Phil only that makes those decisions – it’s the school administration. So, here you go, right off the internet – I think this one was published in March as it needs a couple of ‘deletes’ – as you can see – Chip is just in the middle of the pack – CHECK HIS $ compared to coaches lik Ferentz, Hoke, Chizik, etc. Enjoy!!

    Highest Paid College Coaches 2012:
    #1: Nick Saban – (Alabama) $5.62 M (Will be $6m by 2017)
    #2: Mack Brown (Texas) $5.2 M
    #3: Bob Stoops (Oklahoma) $4.5 M
    #4: Urban Meyer (Ohio State) $4 M
    #5: Les Miles (LSU) $3.8 M
    #6: Kirk Ferentz (University of Iowa) $3.78M
    #7: Gene Chizik (Auburn) $3.5 M
    #8: Brady Hoke (University of Mich) $3.23M
    #9: Will Muschamp (University of Fla) $3.2 M
    #10: Jim Grobe (Wake Forest) $3 M
    #11: Mark Richt (University of Georgia) $2.9M
    #12: Steve Spurrier (University of South Carolina) $2.8 M
    #13: Chip Kelly (University of Oregon) $2.8 M
    #14: Bo Pelini (University of Nebraska) $2.775M
    #15: Houston Nutt (University of Mississippi) $2.771M
    #16: Jimbo Fisher (Florida State University) $2.75M
    #17: Gary Pinkel (University of Missouri) $2.7M
    #18: Bret Bielema (University of Wisconsin-Madison) $2.6 M
    #19: Rich Rodriguez (University of Ariz) $2.5 M
    #20: Dan Mullen (Mississippi State) 2.5 M
    #21: Bret Bielema (Wisconsin) $2.5 M
    #22: Lane Kiffin (University of Southern California) $2.4 M
    #23: Paul Johnson (Georgia Tech) $2.36 M
    #24: Jeff Tedford (California) $2.3 M
    #25: Charlie Strong (Louisville) $2.3 M

  22. chiefmac64 says: Jan 6, 2013 10:24 PM

    Looks like the NFL is discovering what PAC-12 fans have known for awhile-Chip Kelly is an arrogant buffoon whose system is not sustainable in the NFL on its own. The man could care less about defense, has never coached a complete team and is awful at in game mgmt. NFL teams are looking for complete coaches, not gimmick wonders like Chip Kelly. I would be surprised if he doesn’t jump to the NFL though. Oregon is going to get hammered by NCAA sanctions. No way a program flips 13 recruits like Oregon has past 3 years without violating recruiting rules.

  23. kozbee says: Jan 7, 2013 11:38 AM

    NCAA who cares,most fans would like to see the hammer drop on the Ducks.Most fans that wish the worse i would think are Pac 12 fans from other teams wanting to see the worse just to hurt recruiting and stop the Ducks from beating your teams.I hope the best for Oregon and they go all the way next season and whip all y`all teams in 2013 lol.Quack for them Ducks.Ducks just roll over them Trojans and make Lame Kiffin a less of a coach like hes being paid.

  24. gfj7000 says: Jan 7, 2013 3:42 PM

    chiefmac64 _ I presume that you’re not an Oregon fan – or else you’re jealous that they’re going to end up at #2. If you’re a fan on another site – then go there. We don’t need your attitude, so then it’s more caonvenient to go go to your own team’s website so you may ‘spill your beans’ there.
    As for Chip not building a complete team – then don’t only check his offensive stats @ #1 & #2 for points scored and rushing yards, but his defensive stats are in the top #25 – not bac. I suppose in yor eyes, that allowing just `17 points to a #5 team in the Fiesta Bowl is not good enough for your standards? Well, since I’ve now written this, the notice went out that Chip decided to stay. He’s not afraid of the Sanctions either.

  25. th56 says: Jan 7, 2013 7:14 PM

    Oregon can’t play defense? Tell that to Kansas State.

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