Chip Kelly to listen to NFL overtures, wants process "wrapped up quickly"
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Oregon football coach Chip Kelly said after a 35-17 Fiesta Bowl victory that he would listen to interested NFL teams – a list expected to include the Eagles. He added that he wants to “get it wrapped up quickly.”
Kelly has previously dismissed questions about the NFL by saying he was worried about the game. He said he has not yet spoken to any teams, and expected to meet with agent David Dunn to discuss the possibilities.
“I said I’ll always listen. And that’s what I’ll do,” Kelly said. “I know that people want to talk to me because of our players. The success of our football program has always been about our guys. It’s an honor for someone to say they’d want to talk to me about maybe moving on to go coach in the National Football League. But it’s because of what those guys do. I’ll listen, and we’ll see.”
Thursday’s win made Kelly 46-7 in his four seasons as head coach, including four BCS appearances. He was offered the Tampa Bay Buccaneers job last season before deciding to stay at Oregon. Kelly, who is praised for his innovative mind, will likely be pursued by the Eagles, Browns, Bills, and other teams with vacancies.
Asked specifically if he has set up an interview with the Eagles, Kelly said he has not because he wanted to focus on the game. (Of course, that does not mean a representative has not been in contact.)
“I haven’t talked yet,” Kelly said. “My agent is outstanding. He knows I want to coach the football team. There was nothing I was ever going to do that was going to distract me from this game, nor was it going to distract the players from this game. I’ll talk to Dave either tonight or tomorrow and see what he’s done on my behalf.”
Kelly said he has twice met Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, and the interactions were no different than other general managers who visit Oregon. It was 5-10 minute conversations about the players on the team.
Roseman, of course, is part of the three-person contingent that the Eagles are using during their interviews. Owner Jeffrey Lurie and team president Don Smolenski are the other.
Kelly does not know what to expect because he’s only had one interview with an NFL team, and he added that he does not have a checklist. But there will be interest, and Kelly was not shy about admitting he’ll listen.
“It’s a fact-finding mission, finding if it fits or doesn’t fit,” Kelly said. “I don’t really have any preconceived notions about it. That’s what this deal is all about for me. It’s not going to affect us because we’re not on the road [recruiting]. So it’ll be an opportunity if people do call, see where they are. I want to get it wrapped up quickly and figure out where I’m going to be.”
Contact Zach Berman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Twitter @ZBerm.