Late Chip Kelly Update

Posted: January 6th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 79 Comments »

Here’s the latest on the Chip Kelly saga. 

On Saturday morning the reports all had Chip Kelly set to sign on as coach of the Cleveland Browns.  Good friend Jimmy Bama told me that the NFL Network had a reporter talking about how the Eagles had to go to Plan B or almost back to the drawing board.  All seemed hopeless.

But the Eagles had lunch planned with Chip Kelly.  Lunch lasted 9 hours.  The original plan was for Kelly to have dinner with the Browns, but apparently Jeff Lurie and Howie Roseman were still shoving mozzarella sticks and chicken wings his way (I’m assuming Lurie splurged for appetizers).

I’ve had some big meals in my day.  I’ve had some marathon eating sessions.  9 hours?  I’ve never come close.  Obviously the Eagles were negotiating with Kelly for much of that, but you do wonder what kind of a feast they had for him.  Barrels of pudding.  Big boxes of Funyons. Ah, to dream.

The meeting ended at 930 PST.  Reports say that the Eagles will be staying in touch with Kelly.  Reuben Frank reported that the Eagles are still scheduled to meet with Mike McCoy and Doug Marrone.  What does all of this mean?

Clearly Chip Kelly is the team’s #1 choice.  You don’t meet with a guy for 9 hours unless you really want him as your coach.  The Eagles have likely made a big offer.  Kelly is now talking to his agent about that offer as well as the Browns offer.  I think this decision will involve more than money.  Which owner/GM would he rather work with?  Which set of players is better?  Where does he want to live?  And so on.  That said, the money needs to be close or passing up the bigger offer will be hard.

The Eagles are tying to maintain some sense of leverage by letting their interest in McCoy and Marrone be made public.  I doubt this bothers Kelly or his agent at all, but that’s how the game is played. The Browns leaked a report earlier tonight that they were choosing between Kelly and Marrone as their favorite candidate.

Right now the ball is in Kelly’s court.  He has to decide which team/organization/city/misc  he prefers.  As of Saturday afternoon I thought the Eagles maybe had a 20 percent chance to sign him.  Now I think it is 50-50 or maybe in the Eagles advantage.  They talked to him for 9 hours.  That is one hell of a meeting.  Browns fans can find optimism in the fact that he met with the Eagles that long and didn’t sign.

I do think Kelly is doing the right thing.  He met with the Bills, Browns, and Eagles.  He didn’t jump at the first good offer.  He’s listened to everyone and is going to make a decision now that he’s heard everyone’s sales pitch.

I assume we’ll find out Sunday what Kelly’s decision is.  Early reports said he wanted to decide by Saturday night, but I don’t think he anticipated a 9-hour lunch session.

Stay tuned.

* * * * *

An Eagles fan showed me this video on Twitter.  The ultimate Cleveland sales job.

* * * * *

On Saturday I posted my preferred list of coaching candidates.

In case anyone missed it, I wrote a long piece on Chip Kelly a week or so ago.

I also listed info on other coaching candidates here.


79 Comments on “Late Chip Kelly Update”

  1. 1 zbone95 said at 1:36 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    If he chooses philly, who do u think would be his choice as DC? It has to be a guru. Do you know any DC’s that he had connections or relationships with? What about OC?

  2. 2 D-von said at 1:46 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    albert breer was supposedly reporting that it would be mike pettine

  3. 3 phillychuck said at 9:48 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    Would the Jets let him out of his contract? It would be a lateral move unless they named him assistant head coach or something.

  4. 4 D-von said at 11:19 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    His contract is up and he has decided not to sign an extension. He possible could sign with the Jets again with Rex coming back

  5. 5 D-von said at 1:37 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    Tommy, I really believed that Cleveland had him. How do you think it will take before Chip Kelly makes up his mind? I know he said that he would like the process to be over quickly.

  6. 6 TommyLawlor said at 9:05 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    We’ll know by Sunday afternoon.

  7. 7 D3Keith said at 6:49 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    Monday will be a great day to get your big announcement wrapped up in the playoff coverage. Monday night would be the PR pro’s leak day.

  8. 8 zbone95 said at 1:38 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    if he signs with us, who do u think he will hire as DC? Do you know of any DC’s that kelly has or had relations before? What about OC?

  9. 9 Jack Bauer said at 1:47 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    That’s kind of a personal question isn’t it?

  10. 10 D3FB said at 2:18 AM on January 6th, 2013:


  11. 11 TommyLawlor said at 9:03 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    Truly beautiful.

  12. 12 TommyLawlor said at 9:04 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    I don’t know what would do staff wise. I’ll need to do more research, but honestly…there would likely be a lot of simply guessing. It is hard to know which coaches he admires/likes. Sometimes guys don’t even know people they hire…ala Reid hiring JJ. They were total strangers before that.

  13. 13 Jon said at 1:45 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    That Cleveland video might be one of the best things I’ve seen in awhile! Think its pretty funny, looking at all the overreactions to every latest report that comes out. A true sign of the offseason

  14. 14 Septhinox said at 1:46 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    Since you laid out the choices like that, it will be interesting to see which city he chooses. Seems he’s already rules out Buffalo.

  15. 15 lonfident said at 2:04 AM on January 6th, 2013:


    I’m assuming Banner won’t give up any of his personnel
    decision making power, Do you think Howie might or at least be more open
    to what Chip has to say?

  16. 16 TommyLawlor said at 9:02 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    Chip would mostly have personnel control, as Andy did. The big difference would probably be the draft where the coach would need to stick with the players as graded by Howie/the scouts.

  17. 17 Arby1 said at 9:16 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    Given how much independence was given to his DC at Oregon, I’d think Kelly would be happy to have a GM in place.

  18. 18 Baloophi said at 2:44 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    The Browns could also have gotten the old “Please Stay LeBron” band back together…

  19. 19 Arby1 said at 8:16 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    I had vague notions of visiting the rock and roll hall of fame – that’s all gone now.

  20. 20 Baloophi said at 2:47 AM on January 6th, 2013:


    Good news! Our very own Tommy Lawlor is headed to Mobile at the end
    of the month to scout draft prospects, snoop on coaches, peddle his sunglasses, and lay waste to Lower Alabama’s precious PBR and pudding supplies. To help our fearless leader in his quest to constantly inundate us with the latest on high-valued hamstrings, I’d like to help defray his Senior Bowl costs.

    CHALLENGE: If we can generate 15 donations of any value, I will cover the cost of Tommy’s airfare to and fro the Senior Bowl (economy… and he’s on his own for checked bags and 6 oz. Bloody Mary’s). You might be asking yourself, “Does Mrs. Baloophi support this?” I can only assume wholeheartedly.

    Any donation, large or small, will go a long way to helping Tommy out. Think of it as buying him a beer or a case of beers in exchange for his on-the-ground, Eagles-centric reporting. Without him, we’d have to rely on Michael Lombardi, Michael Irvin and “Primetime” for our information. Once you’ve finished cleaning the vomit off your keyboard, simply click on the “Donate” button along the right hand banner of the page if you’d like to contribute. No need to post how much you gave, simply that you have.

    Let’s pull together as Iggles-crazed fans and get Tommy to Mobile!

    (looking for at least 15)

    Glenn Jaffe
    Michael Winter Cho
    Stephen Bonanni
    Jeppe Elmelund van Ee
    Jack Bauer

  21. 21 Anders said at 3:11 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    Im going to donate

  22. 22 Baloophi said at 12:14 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    Excellent! Thank you, sir!

  23. 23 Dirty Harry said at 5:14 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    Done. Keep up the good work Tommy. Greetings from Belgium

  24. 24 Baloophi said at 12:14 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    You just made my day!

  25. 25 JulzPE said at 6:24 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    Done. Could not live without Tommy’s updates, absolutely fantastic work. Type of analysis specific to one team you just can’t find here in Australia.

  26. 26 Baloophi said at 12:16 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    G’day, mate! Sorry… I can do better than that: I can hear I can hear the thunder! Nope… that was worse. Anyway, thank you!

  27. 27 morenthemiddle said at 6:39 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    Done, Tommy does good things, couldn’t thimk of him doing them w/o some PBR

  28. 28 Baloophi said at 12:17 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    And a blue ribbon to you as well.

  29. 29 Arby1 said at 8:00 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    I’ll “Chip” in! Wouldn’t want Tommy stuck down there with the Memphis blues again.

  30. 30 Baloophi said at 12:17 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    Very nice, Arby1…

  31. 31 Westport_Johnny said at 8:54 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    Long time reader, silent on the discussion. Trult appreciate Tommy’s insight, and the dialogue within the community. Donation done, have fun.

  32. 32 Baloophi said at 12:17 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    Thank you, Westport!

  33. 33 damccomas said at 2:07 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    Done! (In case you didn’t get my reply to the last thread)

  34. 34 Baloophi said at 4:12 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    Thanks, and I indeed missed it somehow! Thank you!

  35. 35 aceandson said at 2:13 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    not sure if it’s “any value” but TLaw can get a crate of Funyuns with my donation yesterday.

  36. 36 Baloophi said at 4:12 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    Ace is the place!

  37. 37 Kristopher Cebula said at 2:49 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    tommy, you put it at 50-50 that he signs in philly. what are the odds he blows off the nfl all together and returns to oregon? for the record, this is not my preference, just curious.

  38. 38 Phils Goodman said at 5:09 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    Basically 0.

  39. 39 TommyLawlor said at 9:00 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    5 percent. Chip could be put off by the insanity of the last few days.

  40. 40 GermanEagle said at 12:56 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    You might wanna re-think this, buddy…

  41. 41 eagles2zc said at 12:57 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    Kelly can’t resist the sugars from Phil

  42. 42 GermanEagle said at 3:43 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    It’s nice to read that Kelly is obviously their #1 choice, however I really hope that Kelly wants to become the Eagles HC just as much.

    As austinfan said the interest and commitment must be mutual, otherwise it might be better to pass…

  43. 43 deg0ey said at 6:03 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    Agreed. I hope his delay is merely a product of trying to process the volume of information he was given in the last two days rather than trying to convince himself that he actually fits either of these teams.

  44. 44 Matthew Verhoog said at 6:57 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    Hard to argue with, “we are not Detriot”.

  45. 45 TommyLawlor said at 8:59 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    Great video.

  46. 46 A Roy said at 7:24 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    Marrone shuffling off to Buffalo. Removes CLE’s leverage w/Kelly somewhat. Still not convinced high risk – high reward Kelly is best way to go. Prefer Mccoy.

  47. 47 T_S_O_P said at 7:53 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    From the game yesterday, HOU vs CIN, I think I’d take Zimmer over Gruden Jr.

  48. 48 TommyLawlor said at 8:59 AM on January 6th, 2013:


  49. 49 holeplug said at 10:42 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    Dalton is terrible and Gruden somehow got him to the playoffs 2 years in a row. He did ok.

  50. 50 T_S_O_P said at 12:50 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    They scored 6 points.

  51. 51 Eric Weaver said at 8:02 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    Marrone really started to warm on me the more I read about him. Oh, well.

  52. 52 nickross23 said at 8:44 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    Well we better end up with coach Kelly because the guy i just started to really like is now off the table as Doug Marrone just signed on to become the next coach of the Bills. Not really a far move for coach Marrone, kind of surprised that he accepted the job this early in the process . Tommy what does this tell u about how the Eagles felt about coach Marrone.

  53. 53 deg0ey said at 8:48 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    So there are lots of people that (for some reason) seem to think that if Kelly comes to Philly it’ll mean a return for Vick because Foles doesn’t have the legs to run Kelly’s offense.

    Obviously it’s pretty likely that Chip would tailor his O to the personnel at his disposal, but let’s assume for a moment that he doesn’t. I still don’t think Vick is the guy.

    If we want a guy with a big arm and athletic ability that displays questionable decision making, I’d rather see us target EJ Manuel in the draft. He’s 4 inches taller than Mike (which should make it easier for him to see over the line), 25 lbs heaver (should be a little more durable), 10 years younger (more likely to fix his deficiencies with good coaching), he’ll be much cheaper than even the most team-friendly restructure of Vick’s contract and, most importantly, there’s video evidence that he knows how to slide.

    He’s obviously not as physically gifted as Vick was coming out of college, which is why he’s likely a mid-round pick rather than #1 overall, but the gap between Manuel’s level of athleticism and where Mike is now? Probably not too dissimilar.

    I’ll admit to not having seen a huge amount of tape on this guy (so maybe someone with more insight can Chip in here) but on paper he looks like a natural counter to the argument that a Kelly hire means more Vick.

    The other QBs that intrigue me outside of the top-two are Landry Jones and Zac Dysert. They both seem to have similar ability to Foles in terms of passing, but give a little more in the ‘threat-to-scramble’ department. They’re not exactly Newton or Griffin, but they might have just enough there to keep defenses honest if Chip wanted to run the option.

    Would love for someone with a little more knowledge of college prospects to tell me if I’m just being stupid/unrealistic here, because most of this is based off of reading other people’s analysis and watching highlight videos.

  54. 54 austinfan said at 11:08 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    If Kelly is serious about a QB who runs, there are limited options at the pro level. Just look at Webb, over his head. Most running QBs in college are successful because they’re more athletic than defensive players, and buying time allows their WRs to get open – that doesn’t work in the NFL. What makes an adequate passer in college doesn’t work in the NFL.

    To me, if I’m Howie, the key issue in the interview would be how Kelly would make his offense work with Foles, not that I’m wedded to Foles, but a system that requires reaching for a QB like Geno Smith (who lacks mental toughness, not in the same league with RGIII, heck Florence outplayed him with a defense just as bad) is doomed. Most real QB prospects are going to be more like Foles, pocket QBs with some more mobility, but nothing like a Dixon. Rodgers, RGIII, Newton and Wilson are the only NFL starters I can think of who are reliable passers, Kaepernick is still a question mark (that SF offense doesn’t make a lot of demands, we’ll see in the playoffs if he’s progressed). So an offense that MUST have one of these guys is a dead end, an offense that can utilize one of these guys and do additional things has value.

    Belichick supposedly picked Kelly’s brains, but his QBs are Brady, Mallett, and he signed Kafka, not exactly a group of speedsters.

  55. 55 deg0ey said at 12:38 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    Totally agree with all of that – I’m not in the camp that would be happy to see us run (ha!) with a purely athletic guy, but was mostly just pointing out that if Kelly wanted to have one of them in camp I’d rather draft that guy than bring Vick back.

    The other two guys I mentioned would probably interest me more as people to come in and compete with Nick. I don’t think Foles has shown enough that you just hand him the keys, but at the same time you don’t want to go out and waste your #4 pick on a guy like Smith.

  56. 56 D3Keith said at 6:45 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    That’s a good thought, the E.J. Manuel.

    Even if Foles is the guy, never hurts to add some youth that’s stylistically different.

    I think the thing that people are missing about Kelly is that he can coach more than one style. So even though I was originally in the bring-Vick-back camp, from what I’ve read here, sounds like Foles can function under Kelly if he doesn’t take sacks, converts third downs and knows how to hand off.

    Whatever’s good football I can get on board with.

  57. 57 Steven Dileo said at 12:18 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    If Kelly’s top two choices are Cleveland and Philly the Foles would be the more athletic QB available. HA!

  58. 58 nickross23 said at 8:48 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    If we really like chip that much then this battle between us and the Browns could get interesting. If we loose out on chip who is now number 2 on the list McCoy?

  59. 59 TommyLawlor said at 8:58 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    My list would be a battle between McCoy/Gruden.

  60. 60 xeynon said at 8:55 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    The fact that Kelly is going through all his interviews and not just jumping at the first big offer encourages me. It makes me think that he understands that there will be more to success in the NFL than his own coaching brilliance and that understanding and fitting into the culture of an organization is important. Lots of coaches, particularly college coaches making the jump to the NFL for the first time, don’t get that (see Spurrier, Steve). What Tommy says about his flexibility and ability to think about big picture strategy is evidenced by his behavior here – I hope we get him now.

  61. 61 TommyLawlor said at 8:58 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    Very much agreed. Seeing him sign early anywhere would have been a bad sign (even Philly). He’s truly thinking about this.

  62. 62 austinfan said at 9:15 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    The best news is that it was a 9 hour lunch, which means Kelly has a shot of matching AR’s girth.

    Seriously, that’s good because I doubt they were negotiating about money, but talking football. And you want to see both sides spend a lot of time talking about how they’d fit together – I suspect Chip was gauging how Howie would fit as the GM, and Howie was picking Chip’s brain on personnel, seeing if he did his homework and was truly interested, or just toying.

  63. 63 Alex Karklins said at 10:08 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    I’m guessing that the meeting took so long because when they got to the all-important “Pat’s vs. Geno’s” question, Kelly couldn’t give them a straight answer. They then had to fly out one of each cheesesteak so he could make an informed decision.

  64. 64 D3Keith said at 6:41 PM on January 6th, 2013:


    Of course the great thing about Philly is that if he chooses to live in Haddonfield, NJ or Upper Darby or Washington Township or Malvern, there’s bound to be a great cheesesteak place in any of those places. You simply can’t open up a hoagie shop in the Delaware Valley and stay in business if you don’t make a fabulous one.

  65. 65 Eagles1991 said at 11:06 AM on January 6th, 2013:

    MichaelLombardi reports, “Chip Kelly deciding between Eagles, Browns, or returning to Oregon.”…..Thank you Captain Obvious……really Lombardi?

  66. 66 Steven Dileo said at 12:14 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    Doug Marrone to the Bills. Good. I was hoping to have Lovie Smith as DC and I thought there was good chance he would go to Buffalo. 5 coaching vacancies: Arizona, Chicago, San Diego, Philadelphia, and Cleveland. Chicago is out of the running since they fired him and Arizona should be out of the running since they have a 3-4 defense and they’re very fond of Ray Horton. The only HC vacancies remaining for him are San Diego and Cleveland leaving a good chance that he may be willing to be our DC.

    I also wouldn’t mind having Dick Jauron as our DC if he ends up getting fired in Cleveland.

  67. 67 tj chupela said at 12:31 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    NFL network just reported Phil knight to make a big offer to Kelly to keep him at Oregon. Looks like he will be staying.

  68. 68 Jack Bauer said at 12:48 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    If he goes back to Oregon he better be prepared to stay there for a few years. Anything but a National Championship next year will be seen as a negative and NFL organizations don’t like being jerked around

  69. 69 ACViking said at 1:30 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    Why doesn’t Knight put Kelly on the Nike payroll plus stock options.

    Hell . . . make him a member of Nike’s board of directors.

    Then Kelly can get all the money he seems to want — and have more cash/assets than just about any of the alumni.

    I get the idea of maxing out your value.

    But this guy’s jerking around a lot of people.

    How desperate are Jeff and Howie . . . starting to look sad and pathetic. As are the Browns.


    AUSTINFAN . . . .

    You nailed it 3 days ago: If the coach doesn’t want to be in Philadelphia because of who the Eagles are, not how much they’ll pay, then kick his ass out of the process.

    Do we want a mercenary?

    And how in hell is Kelly worth more than Belichick (if rumors are accurate)?

  70. 70 GermanEagle said at 2:34 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    That’s what I also said. I don’t want Kelly should he not want it at least as much…!!!

  71. 71 ACViking said at 2:35 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    GermanEagle . . . sorry for not noting your concurrence.

    You’re spot on.

    Won’t happen again.

  72. 72 GermanEagle said at 3:36 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    No probs, buddy! All good in the hood. 😉

  73. 73 xeynon said at 1:32 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    There are two other issues here:

    1.)Oregon is apparently about to be investigated for possible NCAA infractions by boosters (see Domowitch’s column yesterday). If sanctions or postseason bans are coming, money may not be enough to tempt him back.

    2.)There’s no guarantee money is the only thing that matters. He may want to live back on the east coast (where he’s from), he may want to prove himself coaching at the highest level (a lot of these guys do).. we don’t know.

  74. 74 Mark823 said at 1:50 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    It sounds like Kelly will end up back at Oregon. Both the Eagles and Browns seem to be moving on in their searches.

  75. 75 Smegga said at 1:50 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    I’m from the UK, and have supported the Eagles for twenty three years. I also support Chelsea FC.
    I want to mention that I’m enjoying the Eagles’ organisation taking their time. Why? At Chelsea, Champions League winners last season, we fire a coach every season, every time we have a slight loss of form. That’s down to our very harsh but stinking rich owner.
    Chelsea have now practically run out of potential head coaches for the club, and nobody wants to manage us as they know they’ll get fired soon. Sure the money helps, but nobody likes being let go.
    So I’m liking how Lurie and Roseman are looking at everybody, and taking their time. That gives me confidence.
    I’d love to have Chip Kelly myself but we’ll see.

  76. 76 Patrick said at 2:19 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    I think i speak for everyone when i say that every other club also enjoys looking forward to the day where Roman Abramovich decides he is getting bored of playing Football Manager and Chelsea once again goes back to being a mediocre club.

    Jealous rant from a disgruntled Liverpool fan aside, i agree on so many levels. This isnt about finding the hottest name or the best bargain, its about finding the right fit for the organization.

  77. 77 Smegga said at 2:34 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    I understand your pain, but really, we are nowhere near as bad as Manchester United, who deserve all the crap they get. Roman isn’t going anywhere.
    Plus we gave you £50 million for a crappy broken down striker.

  78. 78 Patrick said at 2:51 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    To be fair, no ones as bad as Manchester United and they can never get enough crap.
    Oh Fernando Torres, the man who once was my favorite player and now battles Jerry Jones for the number 1 spot on the list of assassination targets if I ever become leader of the universe. If you become unsatisfied with Demba ba, you can have Andy Carroll for the low, low price of 40 mil and Eden Hazard. You’ll be saving almost 20 % compared to the Torres deal? Come on Roman, you know you want to do it for the giggles.

  79. 79 Smegga said at 3:43 PM on January 6th, 2013:

    £40 million and Hazard for Carroll? But we paid £32 million for Hazard in July, so it’s £72 million.
    Would you take Torres back as well? In fact, make it a flat £80 million quid, you take Hazard, Lampard and Torres and we’ll take Carroll and Jamie Carragher.