Oregon Football: 4 NFL Teams That Could Steal Chip Kelly

Kay Jennings@KayJenningsPDXContributor IIINovember 28, 2012

Oregon Football: 4 NFL Teams That Could Steal Chip Kelly

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    If you are a Duck fan you are also, no doubt, a realist. Over the years, you've been disappointed too often to view your team through rose-colored glasses.

    Granted, in recent years there have been positives. Oregon's success since Chip Kelly's arrival on the scene has been well-documented.

    Is this wonderful run about to end? Is Kelly truly leaving you at the end of this near-magical season?

    Here are four NFL teams who might just ruin your life.

Carolina Panthers

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    The only thing worse than Chip Kelly leaving Oregon would be Cam Newton getting him.

    Pass the gin—this is a highly likely scenario.

    Current Carolina head coach Ron Rivera is almost certain to be fired when the season ends, if not before. The Panthers are a dismal 3-8 this season, players and fans alike are sniping, and there is active talk of Rivera's imminent departure.

    Fans are urging Carolina team owner Jerry Richardson to rebuild. Rivera is a defensive-minded coach, and the Panthers are struggling on offense even though they have some key assets.

    Quarterback Cam Newton, for whom Richardson wrote a hefty check, and receiver Steve Smith would be more productive in a Chip Kelly scheme. Running back Jonathan Stewart would also greatly benefit from Kelly's presence.

    The only problems I can see in this scenario is that the Charlotte natives won't be able to understand one fast word that Kelly utters. There are also three Oregon State Beavers on the Panthers' roster who probably hate his guts.

Cleveland Browns

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    Who wouldn't want to be head coach for the Cleveland Browns with fans like these? Except for the living in Cleveland part, this is a great job.

    The Browns currently enjoy—probably not the correct word—a 3-8 record. Browns president Mike Holmgren announced this week that he feels he's done everything he can for the organization and is high-tailing it out of Cleveland.

    My sense is that the Browns are less likely to push the panic button than Carolina, but the natives are definitely getting restless. If it is almost over for head coach Pat Shurmur, there is some logic to a fit with Chip Kelly.

    Cleveland's rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden needs nurturing by an offensive guru just like the second-year QB Cam Newton. The Browns invested heavily in Weeden, making him a first-round pick.

    Cleveland also has a running back you may have heard of—Trent Richardson. Although injured for part of the year, Richardson is still making some NFL noise and has all sorts of potential in the right offense.

    Weeden and Richardson are rookies around which the right coach could build a contender.

Dallas Cowboys

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    Chip Kelly is a very high-profile, flashy coach.

    Quick: what NFL owner likes visibility and flash and built himself an NFL palace?

    Bingo. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Chip Kelly might be a match made in heaven. I have this vision of the two of them, plus Phil Knight and Joe Pesci, in a high stakes poker game somewhere in the club level of Cowboys Stadium.

    The Cowboys don't have a dismal record like Carolina or Cleveland; they are 5-6. But there is a feeling that Dallas is headed the wrong way, fast. In fact, Cowboys' fans have petitioned President Obama to remove Jerry Jones as owner.

    Yeah, that's gonna happen.

    Jerry Jones does not strike me as a particularly patient man. While head coach Jason Garrett is a former Cowboys QB and grew up with Dallas, Jones will not hesitate to pull the trigger—especially if he's getting blamed for the sinking Cowboys.

    Dallas has endured a lot of injuries this season, and that is partly to blame for their troubles. Reasonable people would give Garrett another year to see if 2012 is a fluke.

    But there's that word "reasonable", which doesn't belong in the same sentence as Jerry Jones—or with Texas, for that matter.

    The Cowboys seem to have the fuel; maybe they just need someone willing to light the match.

Philadelphia Eagles

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    Talk about a hot seat.

    Philly's 14-year veteran head coach Andy Reid is currently overseeing a 7-game losing streak. This in a season where owner Jeffrey Lurie made it clear that he would have to see substantial improvement this year after going 8-8 last year.

    The Eagles are 3-8 with five games remaining. Do the math.

    Things are so bad in Philly, the fans aren't even booing—they just don't show up. Eagles fans have had it up to here and Reid is toast. Chip Kelly would be a breath of fresh air for both players and fans.

    I'm not convinced the Eagles are a good fit for Kelly. I can certainly see the east coast native in Philadelphia, and the love fest between coach and fans. 

    But the Eagles' problems are mostly defensive. Once Michael Vick recovers from concussion symptoms and they don't have to rely on rookie QB Nick Foles, the offense will right itself. However, the defense stinks.

    Reid has moved to younger players on the defensive side of the ball, but it remains to be seen if they can compete.

    Philly needs a new coach badly, but Chip Kelly is probably not the answer. Unless he takes Nick Aliotti with him.


    Kay Jennings is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.