Chip Kelly has the option to be a head coach in the NFL next season, but the best thing he can do is stay in his current spot as coach of Oregon.
Although the coach interviewed with the Cleveland Browns and was reportedly close to a deal, multiple sources are now reporting that the Philadelphia Eagles that are now favorites.
Chip Kelly's going to choose between Oregon and the Eagles, I'm told.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) January 6, 2013
Obviously, this is down to Oregon or Eagles for Chip Kelly, based on what we know. Majortiy of league folks believe Oregon. Decision soon.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) January 6, 2013
While the Philadelphia Eagles present an interesting opportunity for Kelly, the smarter move would be to return to his school.
In four years as coach of Oregon, Kelly has transformed the program from good to outstanding. He has reached a BCS game in every season and has accumulated a 46-7 record. While he has not won a national championship, this level of success could be right around the corner.
Next season, the team that finished with a 12-1 record and averaged close to 50 points per game of offense will return with most of its starters. Quarterback Marcus Mariota was only a freshman and is certain to get better with more experience, while De'Anthony Thomas will get more playing time after finishing No. 3 in the nation in yards per carry.
As long as the team stays focused, it has the talent to win a title.
On the other side, the Eagles have question marks at quarterback, on the offensive line and throughout most of the defense. It is not an accident that the squad finished 4-12 this season.
Should Chip Kelly go to the NFL?
It will take an impressive effort to get this team back to where the organization wants it to be, and the pressure to win could lead to a short stint if he does not succeed quickly.
This is unlike his current position, in which he should have job security for years to come.
In addition, Kelly's style is better suited for the college game. He innovated a quick-striking spread offense that allows him to dominate against slower teams, but that style might not work against the bigger and stronger athletes in the NFL.
His lack of experience at the professional level will also hurt his ability to make adjustments when things go wrong.
In his short time as a head coach, he has built Oregon into one of the top programs in the country. He has the ability to continue a long run of success that can last him an entire career.
Risking all of this to go to a shaky position in the NFL would be a poor decision. He should stay with the Ducks and continue doing what he does best: win at the college level.