NFL Coaching Changes Likely, Leaving Opening For Chip Kelly

Several NFL coaching changes are due for the Monday following the end of the regular season — also known as Black Monday — and nearly all will be thinking the same thing. Who gets to land Chip Kelly?

The head coach of the Oregon Ducks, Kelly’s high-flying offense is made for the NFL and he is a coach in high demand. Already elements of the team’s wide-open offense have made their way to the pro game, with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots borrowing several concepts from Chip Kelly.

There are at least a half dozen teams that will likely be making coaching changes in the NFL this year, and all could use Kelly’s talents.

Sports Illustrated writer Don Banks looks at some of these teams to see where Kelly could fit. He sees coaching changes ahead for Cleveland, Carolina, Buffalo, and Jacksonville. Though these teams are all at different points and could be seeking other changes — many will have general manager changes as well — Kelly is likely to end up at one of these or other destinations.

The path has been laid for Chip Kelly thanks to a couple of other coaches who made successful jumps from NCAA to the NFL in recent years. Though that jump doesn’t always work out (think Steve Spurrier), the recent successes of Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco and Pete Carroll in Seattle (though he was once an NFL coach, and a solidly mediocre one, in New England) shows that today’s top college coaches have an NFL-ready game.

For his part, Chip Kelly has steered clear of NFL coaching change rumors and said he is focusing on Oregon’s upcoming bowl game, Oregon Live reported. But despite his insistence that he’s focused on the Ducks, nearly all NFL insiders agree that this time next year, Kelly will be wearing a headset on the NFL sidelines.