Chip Kelly and the Browns are reportedly very close to completing a deal to bring Oregon’s coach to Cleveland, and football insiders are praising the move as a bold step for a franchise that’s been lost for the past few years.
Kelly has been a hot coaching prospect for the past two seasons, and even had a chance to come to the NFL after last season, but turned down a job in Tampa Bay to return to the Oregon Ducks. His fast-paced, wide-open style of offense has set records in Oregon and even been adopted by New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
While being sought after by many teams — including an interview with the Buffalo Bills — Sports Illustrated reported that Chip Kelly and the Browns are very close to a deal.
There are still many questions as to whether Chip Kelly can be a successful coach in the NFL. Many other coaches who dominated at the college level have failed to find success in the NFL — including Steve Spurrier —- and many questions remain whether the offensive style Kelly has crafted will work in the NFL. These questions only grow when taking into account the Browns offense, led by unimpressive rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden.
But for a franchise that has been among the bottom-feeders of the NFL for several seasons now, the addition of Chip Kelly is seen as a bold move.
Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Terry Pluto said the move is an answer to fans looking for boldness from Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner. Pluto wrote:
“This much is certain, Browns fans who have wanted variety and boldness in play calling and schemes will receive a double-dip of both. It will be fascinating to watch how this develops.
“But what must not be lost in this frenzy over Kelly is the Browns absolutely must continue to draft well. This is not college where a coach can add 20-25 players a year.
“Bad drafts equal bad teams, regardless who coaches or what offense is used.
“So yes, change is back for the Browns. But this will be change that is far different than anything since the team returned in 1999. It’s change that in many ways will also tell us not only a lot about the new coach — but the two men who hired him.”
Cleveland fans soon know if the reward is worth the risk — Chip Kelly and the Browns are expected to announce soon whether the Oregon coach will be the team’s newest coach.