Jeff Lurie and Howie Roseman line up against Joe Banner as Eagles and Browns will interview Chip Kelly
The Eagles and Browns will vie for Chip Kelly as both teams have scheduled interviews with the Oregon coach to fill their vacancies, an NFL source said Wednesday.
Moreover, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman will compete with their former colleague, Joe Banner, who is now the Browns CEO.
USA Today, which first reported the Eagles and Browns interviews, included the Bills as the third NFL team that is set to meet with Kelly.
The Eagles and Browns have Kelly high on their wish lists, if not at the top, multiple NFL sources have said. Many factors will go into Kelly's choosing a team, if he has more than one offer, but if it comes down to the Eagles and Browns, his thoughts on either front office could tip the scales.
The interviews won't be conducted until after Oregon faces Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl on Thursday night in Arizona. Kelly is scheduled to meet with the Browns on Friday, according to various reports.
Kelly, 49, is considered one of the best candidates from the college ranks. He spurned an offer from the Buccaneers last year to return for a fourth season at Oregon. The Ducks have gone 45-7 over that span.
His innovative spread, no-huddle offense has been called revolutionary by some. The New England Patriots have used some of his ideas. Coach Bill Belichick told the Boston Globe last year that he adopted Kelly's one-word system for calling plays.
Still, there are questions about how Kelly's speed offense, which has a lot of read-option plays, will transfer to the NFL. And there are obvious questions about his lack of NFL experience.
In relation to the Eagles, some wonder how Kelly would adapt his offense if Nick Foles, a pocket passer, were to be the starting quarterback. Cleveland's Brandon Weeden is equally immobile.
The Eagles, with receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin and running backs LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown, have more speed on offense than the Browns. But Cleveland has more young talent on defense.
There was a report in December that Kelly would seek nearly full control of football operations, but that was not the case, a league source said. Lurie said Monday that his new coach would report directly to him and work in tandem with Roseman. The Browns said their new coach would report to Banner and would have authority over any GM.
Kelly isn't the only college coach the Eagles could be fighting Banner and the Browns to sign. Both teams have reached out to Penn State's Bill O'Brien and Syracuse's Doug Marrone, NFL sources said.
If Kelly or O'Brien, the Patriots' offensive coordinator before he left for State College last year, were to receive offers from the Eagles and Browns, Belichick could play an important part in the process. Both coaches would likely ask for his advice and his opinion of Roseman and Banner. Belichick has had dealings with both.
The Eagles' coach search committee, meanwhile, flew to Atlanta on Wednesday to interview Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and special-teams coordinator Keith Armstrong, a team spokesman said.
Lurie, Roseman, and team president Don Smolenski will evaluate all the candidates.
The Eagles had planned on interviewing Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, as well. But he signed a contract extension and has removed his name from any head coaching opportunities, according to reports.
The Eagles have only one other interview set up, with Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, but a date and time have not been set, the team said.
Eagles sign two. The Eagles signed defensive end Everette Brown and cornerback Trevard Lindley to two-year contracts.
Brown (6-foot-1, 256 pounds) was drafted by the Panthers in the second round in 2009 and played in 31 games over three seasons in Carolina and San Diego, recording a total of six sacks. He was not on an NFL roster in 2012.
Lindley (6-0, 183) is back with the Eagles for his third stint. He was selected in the fourth round in 2010 and played in 11 games, starting in one, as a rookie. Lindley made the 53-man roster in August 2011 but was cut days later. The same thing happened in 2012.
Contact Jeff McLane at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @Jeff_McLane.