University of Oregon coach Chip Kelly is believed to be the Browns’ top choice in their quest to secure a new head coach.
Kelly’s team will play Kansas State on Thursday night in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz. The Browns, Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills are expected to try to meet with him following the game, Jason La Canfora of CBS reported.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported today that the Browns are planning to interview Kelly on Friday or this weekend. Owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner are in Arizona, where they interviewed Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton on Tuesday evening, the Arizona Republic reported.
Rapoport also reported that Kelly would not require total control of football operations to take an NFL job. Banner said he wants the coach to have final say on the 53-man roster, meaning the coach would determine who makes the team and who dresses on game days, but that doesn't necessarily mean the coach would be the ultimate authority when it comes to drafting, signing and trading players. Football operations will report to Banner, so he'll wield significant power in those areas no matter how the responsibilities are divided once a coach and a personnel chief are in place.
Kelly was asked today during a Fiesta Bowl news conference if he expects to field offers from NFL teams in the next week.
“I don't expect anything,” Kelly said. “I said this a million times: I'm never surprised by anything. I do not know what the future holds. I do know we have a football game tomorrow night, and I'm going to be there.”
Oregon is known for using a high-powered, zone-read spread offense. Would Kelly's offensive approach work in the NFL?
“I don't think anybody knows any answers until someone does it,” Kelly said. “The Washington Redskins are doing a pretty good job. … The kid at Carolina has done a pretty good job. But it depends. I don't know. I've never coached in that league. I visited practices and talked to people about it. The one thing about that, about everything, you have to have good players. Sometimes the coaching aspect is way overrated. We don't play the game. I think college football is a personnel driven game. So is the NFL. Your job as a coach very simply is to put your players in positions to make plays, get out of the way and go make them.”
Kelly emphasized that making sure an offense meshes well with the players on the roster is vital to success.
“Anything you do has to be personnel driven,” Kelly said. “You have to adapt to the personnel you have. There's a lot of great offenses out there, but does it fit with the personnel you have? The key is making sure what you're doing is giving your people a chance to be successful.”