Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

04 Jan 2013

UPDATE: Chip Kelly Dicks Everyone Around

I don't like to link these news items until they are official, but this one has been reported so many places that I think it's okay to start discussing what it means. Oregon head coach Chip Kelly will apparently sign on as the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns. This is very exciting news. Get ready for aggressive playcalling and an analytical approach. There's been a lot of talk about announcements in Buffalo, but I happen to know that new team president Alec Scheiner will be hiring at least one analytics guy in Cleveland. Combine that with Chip Kelly and you have a really exciting team for FO fans to watch, albeit a really exciting team whose crappy quarterback has no upside.

UPDATE: OK, see, this is why I've always shied away from putting these things up before it was official. Now reports say Kelly has spoken to other teams and hasn't decided on the Browns yet. Grrrr.

UPDATE 2: Now he's officially staying at Oregon. Thanks for dicking everyone around, Coach Kelly.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 04 Jan 2013

61 comments, Last at 08 Jan 2013, 11:40pm by Kal


by Kal :: Fri, 01/04/2013 - 8:21pm

"but I happen to know that new team president Alec Scheiner will be hiring at least one analytics guy in Cleveland. "

Any details on that at all? That makes me feel a lot better, but I'm curious what this means.

by JasonG (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2013 - 8:58pm

Ugh. Wanted him in Chicago.

by joe football (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2013 - 9:02pm

terrible news, now I can't root for him in the NFL

by Nicholas Ray (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2013 - 9:13pm

I wonder if this means the end of Weeden already?

by Guido Merkens :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 11:06am

In 2011, Oregon averaged 46.1 points per game and QB Darron Thomas only ran for 206 yards all season. Kelly doesn't need a true running QB for his concepts, so I would imagine he will give Weeden a shot unless he thinks he just isn't cut out to be a NFL starter.

by battlered (not verified) :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 11:11am

I wonder if Kelly will go back to Colt McCoy. He may be a better match for a spread offense.

by Nathan :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 12:44pm

I've already seen reports that he prefers McCoy. I watched the both in the preseason for some reason and I thought McCoy clearly outplayed Weeden in those games.

by Kal :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 10:37pm

To be clear, here's what happened.

Last week - before the bowl game, before Cleveland had talked with Kelly officially - their president told McCoy that 'the new coach had plans for him'.

Everyone's assuming that this was said about Kelly - and that Kelly actually said this. Neither need be true. Knowing Kelly, I doubt it is true; I don't think he's done a lot of scouting Colt McCoy.

by herewegobrowniesherewego (not verified) :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 11:05pm

How much did you take into account how Colt was playing against second-team defenses? I actually saw them practice in person.

I've really been the odd one out here defending Weeden, but keep in mind that Colt isn't going to suddenly grow taller or grow a much bigger arm. They already gave him a second year to see if he had "upside" last year. It's not like he's particularly young (his 27th birthday will be right around this coming opening day.)

And I'm not being nearly as hard on Colt as some (I've heard Browns fans say he should've spent this past fall out of the league coaching high school football.)

by Hurt Bones :: Sun, 01/06/2013 - 2:13am

You mean his 26th birthday. Colt is 25. Or almost 4 years younger than Weeden.

by herewegobrowniesherewego (not verified) :: Sun, 01/06/2013 - 11:53am

No, I don't.

Colt was born on Sept. 5, 1986, i.e. with opening day being on September 2013, 2013 - 1986 = 27.

Slightly less than 3 years younger than Weeden, with a lot more mileage on *both* the starting college football and starting NFL levels.

by Hurt Bones :: Sun, 01/06/2013 - 12:19pm

My bad. I trusted the info at Pro-Football Eeference. I not a fan of McCoy. I don't think he has a bright future, but Weeden was really bad this year. He'll be 30 next year. Not having a bright future is different from having no future what I think is in store for Weeden.

by JonFrum :: Fri, 01/04/2013 - 9:42pm

At Oregon, he could recruit 3-4 'first round picks' every year. Then again, two years in a row he had to suspend important players - is this a tight ship? I hope no one is expecting 600 yards per game next year. Belichick integrated the no huddle with help from Kelly, but Belichick has Brady.

by Kal :: Fri, 01/04/2013 - 11:25pm

Dunno what you're basing those numbers on, but Oregon has not had first round draft picks in a while. They've had one since Kelly has been there _ Jonathan Stewart. And he was recruited well before Kelly got there.

by JonFrum :: Fri, 01/04/2013 - 9:43pm

By the way - why do I get the captcha only after I submit the comment?

by Raiderjoe :: Fri, 01/04/2013 - 10:02pm

B. weedne cpulv do good in Cleveland. Gppd #1 received j. Gordon. Others like Norwood and bemjagim have upside. Ribs Richardson and Hardesty food backs.

Defense coming around. Real ip and coming tema if Kelly can adjust to NGL.

by Dave0 :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 12:45am

ribs richardson is my favourite food back.

by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 1:12am

Eg ads. Phone switched RBs to ribs it appearsm phone has midnd. Of its own with this guessijgbstuff if does
Keant to write RBs Ri chardson and Hardesty good backs

Feel like J. Gordon going to be top flight WR. So have him and RBs and some other stuff on offense. Defense is happenin' and the swpcial teams stuff is sweet. Question is whwyher or not Chiup Kelly can coach way out of wet paper bag with scissors in hand on NFL level. If can do it then C. Browns going to playoffs next seapsb.

Early prediicitons for 2013 season playoffs
Raiders, pates, Colts, Steekers , broncos. Browns

by wardh2o (not verified) :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 10:37am

This comment made my morning. Anybody know how to get coffee stains off of drapes?

by Mr Shush :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 11:04am

Egads indeed. With you on Gordon.

by Guido Merkens :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 11:08am

Is Raiderjoe just a normal, sober guy with an out-of-control autocorrect function?

by Noah Arkadia :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 3:40pm

Yeah, what made me laugh was how literally his phone would have to have a mind. Of its own to create these posts!

FO posters are a peacock. You got to let us fly!

by jedmarshall :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 6:18pm

The great part is outside of his horrendous spelling and unquestioned love of the Raiders, his comments are usually more spot on than anyone else's

by herewegobrowniesherewego (not verified) :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 11:13pm

Only thing that was off base is I doubt Norwood stays on the roster much longer.

They need to make the blunder of the 2009 draft come full circle: cut MoMass and sign Mike Wallace in FA.

by bubqr :: Fri, 01/04/2013 - 10:33pm

Really wanted Kelly for the Eagles. My second choice - Mike Nolan.

by jimbohead :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 2:19am

Is the head coaching cupboard so bare that anyone would think of Mike Nolan?? The media scrutiny in San Francisco turned him into a paranoid crazy person; I can just imagine what would happen to him in a place like Philly. He has real solid strengths as a DC, just like McDaniels is a solid OC. He just has no business being HC anywhere.

by Aloysius Mephis... :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 5:49am

Any reason you think Nolan has it in him to be a good head coach? Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick are recent examples of guys who were written off as failed NFL head coaches and then found success as retreads, but their failures were nothing like Nolan's.

by The Voice Of Reason (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2013 - 11:42pm

Are we sure that Colt McCoy isn't a possibility at QB? He's mobile, and moving out of the pocket minimizes that height issue. New regime didn't draft Weeden and isn't married to him. To the best of my memory, Kelly hasn't had a cannon-armed QB at Oregon, so maybe McCoy's lack of arm strength isn't such a deterrent. From early reports, there doesn't seem to be great options coming out of the draft at the position; maybe they turn to a player already on the roster?

by sundown (not verified) :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 1:20am

I've seen a report that McCoy has already been told that he's in Kelly's plans. Talk about a strange turn of events: It was a huge surprise they kept him after basically promising he was gone...now he not only outlasted the coach and GM but might outlast the first rounder drafted to replace him.

by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 12:09am

Yes c. McCoy possible but think Wwedden better. Was it Brwbns who sign josh Johnson for week 17? Know some tema did. Think it was browns. He possivlitiy too. Has good moves in pocket. He's got the moves like Jagger. He's got the moves likeJagger. OOoo ooooo ooo ooo o Chip he's got the move slike Hagger.
So maybe Chop Kelly give Johnson, McCoy and weednd all a shot to win job in camp.

by Noah Arkadia :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 3:44pm

First Ribs Richardson and now Chop Kelly. Somebody's hungry! You're in the zone today, RJ.

FO posters are a peacock. You got to let us fly!

by Hurt Bones :: Sun, 01/06/2013 - 11:09pm

Looks like no Chop and Ribs on the menu next season.

by Tanner (not verified) :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 9:39pm

Lmao this post is so epic

by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 1:45am

What is with these ads? They got wrestlers and wrestling lady managers and naow they have a ad for floroda state wearing pink and purpled uniforms. Then there are tips for knowingn if a girl is florting with you.

by Peepshowmopguy (not verified) :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 5:27am

Bummer. I was hoping he would somehow make his way to the Cardinals. That would be three PAC 12 Coaches in the NFC West

by Mash Wilson :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 8:02am

Guess I'm alone in being very pessimistic about Kelly's chances to succeed in the NFL?

My great fear is that Kelly will fail miserably for reasons unrelated to his aggression, and then everyone in the NFL will say "see, that going for it on fourth down, that's college stuff, that doesn't work in the NFL" and NFL coaches will go back to ritualistically punting on 4th-and-3 on the opponent's 38 for another 20 years. Just when common sense was starting to make a tiny bit of headway.

by Jerry :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 8:59am

You're not alone - I'm always skeptical about college coaches coming into the NFL. Yeah, some succeed, but many don't.

by Mash Wilson :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 2:56pm

It certainly doesn't help that he's coaching the Browns.

by kamiyu206 :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 10:47am

I get your point but not every college coach failed in the NFL. See Jim Harbaugh.

by Guido Merkens :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 11:14am

I think Belichick has already made good headway in that department, as a respected NFL coach who is very aggressive in 4th down situations.

by joe football (not verified) :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 11:31am

I don't think Kelly's willingness to gfi on 4th is particularly out of line in the NFL and won't get that much attention. It's not like he was constantly gfi from his own 40 in college. I would be shocked if he tries for several two point conversions a game in the NFL

by Kal :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 10:38pm

Most NFL coaches fail. College or otherwise. Of the coaches fired this season, how many started in college? It's a hard job.

It's not a guarantee that Kelly will be successful in his first time out, but I doubt it's going to be particularly related to his abilities or background as a college coach.

by Larry Tang (not verified) :: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 11:43am

Conflicting reports out there, according to Chris Mortensen, Kelly met with Buffalo afterwards and will meet with Philly today.

by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Sun, 01/06/2013 - 3:31pm

Here is what always happens in situations like this. Some reporter talks to the team President or owner and they say "we are going to hire Chip Kelly". And the reporter wants to be first so he just reports that despite having insufficient information on Chip Kelly's attitude towards the offer.

Maybe even Chip Kelly told the reporter he would coach in the NFL next year (though I doubt it). Anyway, until the things actually happen, best to treat them as provisional because reporters in the modern era are basically not to be trusted. Too much pressure from modern traffic monitoring and the 24 hour news cycle to be first.

by Schmoker (not verified) :: Sun, 01/06/2013 - 9:52pm

Cleveland media in particular not to be trusted, as they are literally in the pocket of the Browns. The only paper in town has a big money deal with t the Browns to sponsor the sports section. They fired their beat writer of twenty years for tweeting that Randy Lerner was a pathetic owner. The new beat reporter just posted a story claiming "sources" told her that the Browns walked away from Kelly, not vice versa. Apparently we are supposed to believe that after they spent 16 hours sucking on it over two separate days that they suddenly didn't like the taste.

We are in for a world of hurt with these two idiots in charge.

by Kal :: Sun, 01/06/2013 - 9:55pm

Right now the browns are stating they're back at square one, the bills are out and rumors are that it is likely Kelly returns to Oregon.

by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 01/06/2013 - 11:25pm

Probably better for ,Beowns becyass Kelly no NFL experience. Would have been wondering if guy was goignt o be like Lou Holtz or b. Petribo and be a crap NFL coach.

Think Whisenhunt or Horton or Moss or one of the Grudens is better choice for Cleveland.

by Schmoker (not verified) :: Sun, 01/06/2013 - 11:35pm

The point isn't whether Kelly was a good choice. The point is that they made a big damn show out of Kelly being their first choice, and they went so far as to publicly state that they had a guy in mind and were absolutely going to get him because working for them would be such a prize. If Kelly was a bad choice, then they are even dumber than I thought. Regardless, how about they keep their yaps shut if they don't really have the juice they are claiming? Of course, since they don't believe they don't have the juice, guess that ain't happening.

Which is why they are now out their claiming they walked away from Kelly because he didn't bow down before them after they spent all time for one day courting him. They sound like a 13 year old girl who just got felt up by the hot guy who never called them again. Now they have made this big statement that they want a coach who is going to run the whole show and pick his GM, and they are going to end up giving that job to some dude name Whisenhunt. Wouldn't be surprised to see Petrino get an interview at some point.

by MehlLageman56 (not verified) :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 1:45am

While the Browns look terrible for this, Whisenhunt would be better for this job. He would also be very happy having a functional offensive line, one with an excellent left tackle instead of a turnstyle.

by dryheat :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 8:49am

I would expect Cowher to get a phone call at some point with the promise of a HC job with final personnel say.

by Jerry :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 8:57am

By all accounts, Bill is very happy where he is. He may get phone calls, but I'll be surprised if things go much further.

by Jerry :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 2:31am

To be fair, coaching searches have become really hard to handle from a PR perspective. These are huge stories, and every time someone who looks like a football coach comes to town, there will be reports and rumors. If the team doesn't want to make any of the process public, they have to live with all the noise going on around them. To whatever extent they do make things public, they're still going to have to deal with overreaction. A portion of the public will treat every (alleged) interview as a job offer.

This isn't to comment one way or the other on how the Browns handled Kelly; I haven't paid close enough attention to know who may have overstated what. But these situations are usually circuses, regardless of how adept the team is at PR.

by Boots Day :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 1:41am

Boy is it ever unfair to describe Chip Kelly considering a job offer and deciding not to accept it as "dicking everyone around."

by Kal :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 2:29am

Agreed; it's funny as far as descriptions go but not particularly apt. He gave an answer within 72 hours after talking with all interested parties. I wish that my recruiting went that smoothly.

by LionInAZ :: Tue, 01/08/2013 - 7:33pm

To the extent that it fits a pattern of bigshot college coaches shopping around to boost their economic value, it's a fair statement. If we hear very soon that Kelly has just been given a fat new contract by Oregon, that view will have more merit.

by Kal :: Tue, 01/08/2013 - 11:40pm

Apparently no contract changes have been made; if he made money it was on the downlow with Phil Knight (which I admit is entirely possible) and not through the school in any way.

by MehlLageman56 (not verified) :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 1:47am

i think Kelly decided against taking the job when he realized hiring him was all part of the new owner's plan to get his favorite team, the Steelers, into the playoffs the next four years.

by tsmonk (not verified) :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 9:17am

Is it just possible that NFL junkies/papparazzi gossip more than a blue-haired bridge club, and that Chip Kelly wasn't necessarily "dicking everyone around?"

by Michael LaRocca (not verified) :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 9:22am

He was probably afraid of a staph infection. Or a staff infection. Either one's bad in Cleveland.

by Mark Twain (not verified) :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 10:55am

Better to be thought of as an idiot then posting a blog and confirming it. Then adding to it to make more assurance.