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Would Oregon's Chip Kelly or Penn State's Bill O'Brien Make Better NFL Coach?

EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 6: Head coach Chip Kelly of the Oregon Ducks looks on from the sidelines during the third quarter of the game against the Washington Huskies on October 6, 2012 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. Oregon won the game 52-21. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images
Randy ChambersAnalyst IDecember 31, 2012

We may see Chip Kelly and Bill O'Brien on an NFL field sooner than expected.

The NFL regular season has come to an end and there are now plenty of head coaches that are looking for employment. With so many vacant positions on the market, there are a plethora of names popping up as possible candidates to replace the unfortunate coaches that couldn't get the job done.

According to reports, both Kelly and O'Brien are high on the list for NFL franchises that are looking for new coaches to run their team.

But if you were running the Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears or any other squad that is without a head coach, who would you want to hire?

O'Brien would give you the best chance to succeed in the long term. He is somebody that just left the NFL after spending many years with the New England Patriots. He was working hand in hand with a legend in head coach Bill Belichick and helped produce some of the best offensive performances the NFL has ever seen.

Coaching right next to someone such as Belichick is all I need to hear to move forward with the contract signing.

When rumors were flying around that O'Brien may leave for Penn State, quarterback Tom Brady spoke up and said he hopes he remains with the Patriots, according to Rob Bradford of Weei.com:

"He's been a great coach and friend." Brady said. "We have a great relationship. Probably a very unique relationship in that we communicate all the time. I always enjoy working with him. He's done an incredible job with this team and this offense. He expects nothing less than our best."

Brady even took blame for the heated discussion the two had in a 2011 game against the Washington Redskins. If O'Brien is able to earn the respect of a player such as Brady, one of the best quarterbacks of all time, an NFL team should have little trouble believing in his leadership. After all, this is also someone that took over Penn State and helped turn things around under extremely difficult circumstances.

As for Kelly, he doesn't have any NFL coaching experience, as he has coached college ball since he earned a coaching job with Columbia back in 1990. There are also serious questions whether or not his no-huddle offense could work at the big-boy level.

Kelly would need to find a smart, dual-threat quarterback and a lot of speed at the skill positions to make his style of play work. The NFL isn't like college, where he would be able to pick and choose players that would fit well in his system. In other words, he would need to land in the right situation in order to have immediate success.

Some may argue the success of the zone-read in the NFL as of late, and say this is the perfect time for Kelly to take his talents elsewhere. But remember how successful the Wildcat package was once defenses had an entire offseason to figure things out. This isn't to say that Kelly wouldn't be successful, but I would much rather go with somebody who is a little bit more of a safe hire.

However, Kelly's creativity and the excitement he would deliver to an NFL franchise is something that an NFL owner would love to bring on board.

Both coaches have plenty to offer if either one of them would like to test the waters at the next level. Both are terrific for the college game and should stay at the universities they currently coach.

However, if I had to pick the coach that would likely do the best job at the next level, I would go with O’Brien because of his NFL experience and leadership on and off the field.

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