And so it begins.
Joe Banner and the Cleveland Browns were quick to announce their intentions Wednesday to interview Oregon Ducks Head Coach Chip Kelly this weekend for their Head Coaching vacancy, by Thursday morning the Eagles scheduled a visit of their own.
Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman and Don Smolenski are currently in Atlanta interviewing Falcons Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan and Special Teams Coach Keith Armstrong, and have also added a jaunt to Arizona to their itinerary.
According to multiple sources, the Eagles plan on interviewing Kelly on Friday in Arizona following Oregon’s appearance in the Fiesta Bowl Thursday night against Kansas State.
There are likely to be significant sanctions levied against Kelly’s Oregon program this offseason, fueling rumors that he will bail for the friendly confines of the National Football League.
Kelly has long been speculated to be the top choice of Lurie and Co. to replace Andy Reid, thanks in large part to his innovative spread option offense that has become in vogue in the NFL in recent years.
“I don’t expect anything,” Kelly told reporters when asked if he expects to field offers next week during his Wednesday Fiesta Bowl press conference. ”I said this a million times. I’m never surprised by anything. I do not know what the future holds. I do know we have a football game [Thursday] night, and I’m going to be there.”
One major component to Kelly’s offense at Oregon is the frenetic pace and heavy reliance on the no huddle. Bill Belichick consulted Kelly last winter and has implemented pieces of the offense into the Patriots arsenal this year. Kelly is highly regarded across the NFL, but insisted this week that he can adapt his scheme to the pace and structure of the NFL game.
Banner and the Browns are likely to announce their time for their interview with Kelly in the near future, as the former Eagles President is currently in Arizona interviewing Cardinals Defensive Coordinator Ray Horton.
There could be a battle in the making between Lurie, and childhood friend/estranged business partner Banner, in their pursuit of respective head coaches. The Eagles and Browns also have expressed strong interest in Penn State Head Coach Bill O’Brien, who also is intrigued by the Eagles job.
Multiple sources confirm that ideally, Jeffrey Lurie would like to hire one of the top college candidates to fill the void left after firing Andy Reid on New Year’s Eve.