CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Chip Kelly’s decision to leave Oregon for the Eagles turned more than a few heads around the country Wednesday afternoon.
Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner were probably among those that had the “you’ve got to be kidding me” reaction to the news.
If they did, don’t mistake that for buyer’s remorse.
Kelly’s defection less than 2 weeks after recommitting to Oregon left everyone stunned – even 1 recruit who tweeted about it.
“Chip Kelly left?!?! He was at my house 2 days ago 😥,” Nico Falah, a 6-foot-4, 267-pound offensive tackle from Saint John Bosco High School in Bellflower, Calif. tweeted.
That’s right Kelly was still recruiting high school players while negotiating to leave college for the NFL.
Haslam and Banner don’t need or want someone with that type of character.
They have been pretty matter of fact in expressing their satisfaction with their hiring of Rob Chudzinski late last Thursday to replace Pat Shurmur.
Kelly met with the Browns for 7 hours on Friday, Feb. 4 and took an hour or so to day hi to Bills officials as well. He spent 9 hours with the Eagles the following day. The Browns’ new leadership decided to leave Arizona Sunday morning without Kelly and they didn’t look back.
As for Philadelphia, some say the Eagles had no choice but to look back.
The pool of candidates in their eyes was getting pretty thin so they made another run at him.
There’s no question that Kelly’s change of heart will raise more speculation about Banner, his ego and desire for power and it’s affect on the team’s coaching and GM search but it should raise more questions about Kelly and his character.
Kelly flip flops like a politician.
One minute he wants to explore the NFL, the next it’s back to Phil Knight’s billions and Nike, then back to the NFL, then back to Eugene and on and on it goes.
That is not what you want in a leader.
But at least this time he’s made a decision to go to the Eagles.
The intriguing part won’t be what will he do with Michael Vick or who they draft No. 4 or if they switch from the 4-3 to the 3-4.
It’ll be how long will he stays with the Eagles. 1, 2, or 3 years? Or is Kelly really in it for the long haul?
Last year Kelly left the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hanging. And he was ready to do the same to both the Browns and Eagles nearly 2 weeks ago.
Philadelphia moved on with their interview process but of course Eagles brass will ramble on about how Kelly was their No. 1 choice.
Give Haslam and Banner both credit for just moving on.
Fans will certainly compare Chudzinski and Kelly and their immediate success this coming season but for the Browns success will be judged long-term and not based on tomorrow.
For those who think that Haslam and Banner should’ve sat around and kept calling Kelly’s phone in an effort to beg him to coach the Browns, that is ludicrous.
You either want the job or you don’t.
Kelly didn’t and the Browns ultimately made the right call by passing on him.
Only time will tell if Haslam and Banner made the right one by hiring Chudzinski.