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Chip Kelly: Why Oregon Coach Should Avoid Eagles at All Costs

EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 17: Head coach Chip Kelly of the Oregon Ducks looks on as his team warms up before the game against the Stanford Cardinal at Autzen Stadium on November 17, 2012 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images
Jessica MarieCorrespondent IIJanuary 2, 2013

The Philadelphia Eagles are kind of a mess right now.

It isn't all their fault, though. They are playing in a division in which every other team stands the chance of being competitive next year. The Cowboys offense finally seems to be getting its act together, even though the team fell short in 2012. The Robert Griffin III-led Redskins are on the upswing in a big way. And the Giants? As long as Eli Manning is there, they can never be counted out.

The Eagles, meanwhile, have just fired their head coach in the wake of an extremely disappointing 4-12 season. Nobody knows who the quarterback is going to be in 2013, and there aren't any options on this year's draft board that are quite appealing enough to suggest an immediate turnaround. They haven't made the playoffs in the last two years.

Given all the Eagles are going to be coming up against in 2013, now doesn't seem like the ideal time for a college coach to come in and expect to turn it all around—even if that college coach is Chip Kelly.

According to Fox Sports, the Eagles are one of the NFL teams seriously pursuing Oregon head coach Chip Kelly. The Browns are reportedly also considering Kelly for their coaching vacancy.

Last year, after his third season with the Ducks, Kelly turned down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. What's different this year? Just that Kelly's program is being investigated by the NCAA for possible violations, via Fox Sports.

Kelly could jump ship while his program takes the heat, but even if he does jump ship for the Eagles, will life really be that much better? Probably not, considering the Eagles seem to be going nowhere fast.

Things at Oregon, alternately, have been pretty peachy lately. The Ducks, unlike the Eagles, are on the upswing. On Thursday, they will play in a BCS bowl for the fourth consecutive year, continuing the most successful stretch in program history. In Kelly's first year with the team, he led them to the Rose Bowl, and one year later, to the national championship game. In 2011, the Ducks took down Wisconsin in Pasadena, and this season, they will face Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl.

This season, the Ducks were one overtime loss away from reaching their second national championship in three years.

As it stands, Kelly has established himself as one of the most successful college coaches out there. He could jump ship for a terrible NFL team—where success is likely going to be hard to come by—and he could abandon his program as it prepares to face possible NCAA sanctions, a la Pete Carroll.

Or he could do the right thing. He could do what he knows he's good at. He could, at the very least, wait a year or two. If there are no sanctions, he could get his team to the national championship once again and maybe even win a ring.

He certainly isn't going to be winning any rings any time soon in Philadelphia.

There could be a plethora of NFL teams targeting Kelly this offseason, and it could be difficult for him to turn them all down. However, last year he said no to Tampa Bay because he said he had "unfinished business" with Oregon, according to ESPN.com.

If he really meant it last year, he won't jump ship this year, either. In the regard of unfinished business, nothing has changed. 

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