CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Snooze, you lose.
Chip Kelly will not be the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
A person familiar with the search told the Associated Press Sunday afternoon that Kelly was indecisive about making the jump to the NFL, and the Browns decided to move on to other candidates.
ESPN’s Chris Moretenson reported that the Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner left Arizona Sunday morning and will “reboot” their coaching search.
Kelly chose to return to Oregon late Sunday night according to multiple reports after spending 7 hours meeting with the Browns on Friday and over 8 hours with the Eagles on Saturday.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that Nike founder Phil Knight “stepped up,” to keep Kelly in Eugine.
This marks the 2nd straight offseason that Kelly flirted with the NFL. He left the Tampa Bay Buccaneer high and dry after coming to terms on a deal in early 2012.
After a frantic roller coaster ride over the last 48 hours with the recruitment of Kelly, the Browns aren’t alone in moving on with their coaching search.
The Eagles confirmed their meeting with Kelly Sunday morning and team officials flew to Denver to meet with Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.
Philadelphia also announced that they have requested but not received permission to interview Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.
Syracuse coach Doug Marrone was hired early Sunday morning to take over the Buffalo Bills eliminating another candidate for the Browns to consider.
Haslam and Banner met for a 2nd time with Marrone Saturday in Arizona.
With Kelly, Marrone, Nick Saban, and Bill O’Brien off the list – it’s on to plan E, F or G for Haslam and Banner.
Former Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenthunt and defensive coordinator Ray Horton – both interviewed last week – along with McCoy, Gruden, and 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman could be back on the list of candidates as the Browns move forward – apparently without Kelly.
Aside from the coaching search, the Browns have not interviewed anyone to potentially replace Heckert.
The Browns have reportedly requested permission to speak with Vikings assistant general manager George Paton, 49ers player personnel director Tom Gamble and Ray Farmer, Chiefs director of pro personnel.