Chip Kelly Looking At UCLA Job As Well As Florida

Written by ESPN News Service at ESPN.com

Chip Kelly met with UCLA officials regarding their vacant head coaching position in Los Angeles on Tuesday and is expected to decide between Florida and UCLA in the next few days, a source close to Kelly told ESPN’s Mark Schlabach.

Former UCLA quarterback Troy Aikman, a member of the school’s search committee, is putting a “full-court press” on Kelly to accept the UCLA job, the source said.

Kelly, 53, isn’t expected to consider any other college openings.

Representatives from Florida met with Kelly about their vacant head-coaching job Sunday, The Associated Press has reported.

Kelly, an analyst at ESPN, went 46-7 in four years (2009-12) at Oregon, which averaged 44.7 points a game during that span.

Kelly was fired from two NFL jobs in the past two years and left Oregon shortly before NCAA sanctions were handed down. Kelly was slapped with “failure to monitor” in the Will Lyles case. Kelly also was handed an 18-month show-cause penalty after he left to become the head coach for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles.

Oregon was accused of paying $25,000 to Lyles, a 7-on-7 coach, in exchange for him guiding players to the Ducks. The NCAA ruled that Kelly wasn’t aware of Lyles’ actions, but said he was responsible for ensuring his program was in compliance.

Kelly’s show-cause penalty expired in late 2014, meaning he and any school that hires him would face no restrictions or penalties related to the Lyles case.

His brief NFL stints and an apparent unwillingness to adapt raised questions about the effectiveness of his up-tempo offense — at least in the NFL.

He was considered an innovator and offensive guru at Oregon, where he coached for a national title at the end of the 2010 season.

His final team in 2012 went 12-1 and averaged 49.6 points per game.

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Chip Kelly Interviewing for Florida Job

Written by ESPN News Staff at ESPN.com

Representatives from the Florida Gators met with Chip Kelly about their vacant head-coaching job Sunday, The Associated Press has reported, citing a person familiar with the situation.

The person said athletic director Scott Stricklin and five key staffers met with Kelly in New Hampshire. The person spoke to The AP on the condition of anonymity because the Gators are not publicly discussing the coaching search.

Stricklin and his assistants flew in and out of Ocala, Florida, about a half-hour from Florida’s campus.

“We continue to have very productive conversations related to our football team,” Stricklin told reporters at the airport late Sunday. “We’ve got a process we’re going through. There will probably be some more productive conversations in the days ahead. Lot of interest in the job.”

Kelly, an analyst at ESPN, praised the Florida program when asked Sunday morning on SportsCenter about speculation connecting him with the Gators job.

Stricklin vowed to make Florida fun again when he parted ways with coach Jim McElwain last month.

Kelly’s high-octane, spread scheme would probably do it.

The 53-year-old Kelly went 46-7 in four years (2009-12) at Oregon, which averaged 44.7 points a game during that span. The Gators would welcome anything close to that after slogging through the post-Tim Tebow era.

Florida (4-6) will finish outside the top 100 nationally in total offense for the sixth time in the past seven years, including all three under McElwain.

Stricklin would be taking a chance on Kelly to rejuvenate the program’s most glaring deficiency. Kelly was fired from two NFL jobs in the past two years and left Oregon shortly before NCAA sanctions were handed down.

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Chip Kelly To The Tide?

Written by Andy Staples at SI.com

If Nick Saban truly meant the last line of his statement Tuesday following Steve Sarkisian’s departure after exactly one game as Alabama’s offensive coordinator, then Saban may have some recruiting to do.

“We appreciate all Coach Sarkisian did for our program during his time here,” Saban said in the statement. “He is an outstanding coach, and we wish him the best in his new role as Atlanta’s offensive coordinator. As always, when we have an opening on our staff, we will use it as an opportunity to go out and hire the best coach available.”

The best college offensive coach available right now is Chip Kelly. The question is whether Kelly, who has two NFL teams fighting over how to pay the buyouts both owe after firing him as their head coach, would want to work for a notoriously tough boss when multiple athletic directors will gleefully throw money at him during the coaching carousel that begins in November. Kelly doesn’t need the job, so what’s in it for him? Here’s what Saban can say.

Kelly seems to like the lifestyle in the NFL better. He didn’t have to recruit. He didn’t have to gladhand boosters. His problem is that after flops in Philadelphia and San Francisco, no one is exactly lining up to hire him—even as an offensive coordinator. Alabama’s offense has evolved over the years, but the system Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian left behind still looks like an NFL offense much of the time. Rather than bringing in his own scheme, Kelly could learn this one and add his own tweaks. That might show NFL teams that Kelly can adapt and is ready for another crack at that kind of offense.

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Howie Roseman Makes Veiled Shots At Chip Kelly


Written by Reuben Frank at CSNPhilly

Everybody else is allowed to rip Chip Kelly for the long-term damage he did to the Eagles’ roster.

Why not Howie Roseman too?

Roseman took a few thinly-veiled shots at Kelly during his press briefing on Wednesday morning at the NovaCare Complex:

• His reference to the team’s lack of a second-round pick in last year’s draft — Kelly shipped it to the Rams in 2015 along with Nick Foles;

• Without prompting, he connected the Eagles’ lack of offensive firepower this past year to Kelly’s decisions to release DeSean Jackson, trade LeSean McCoy and fail to re-sign Jeremy Maclin;

• Roseman spoke several times about the team’s lack of salary cap space going into this offseason, which is at least in part a product of Kelly’s one year running the personnel department;

• And he criticized Kelly’s handling of the quarterback position, which left the Eagles without any quarterbacks under contract following last year.

Asked specifically how difficult it’s been for him to undo some of Kelly’s ill-advised moves, here’s how Roseman responded:

“You know, I think you’re just dealing with the reality of the situation. I could say sitting up here last year, it was challenging. It was a challenging situation and it starts with the quarterback position. We didn’t have a starting quarterback under contract. (Sam Bradford) was a free agent. We were picking 13th with no two (second-round pick).

“And we sat down and we said if we can come out of this offseason, and sit here next season at this time and feel like we had a permanent answer at that position, we’re going in the right direction.”

Howie declined to speak specifically about Maclin, Jackson and McCoy, since all are currently under contract with other teams and that could be construed as tampering.

But he certainly indirectly discussed them.

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Chip Kelly Is Making Bank, Fired Again From San Fran

Written by Jordan Heck at Sporting News.com

Chip Kelly was fired by the 49ers, but he still has three years remaining on his four-year, $24 million deal. If you do the math, that comes out to about $6 million per year, which means he has about $18 million left to be paid.

Even better for Kelly? He’s still getting paid by the Eagles. He was owed $13.4 million at the time of his firing, although since he was hired by San Francisco, there’s an offset against future earnings in the contract that makes it so Kelly can’t double-dip. This means the Eagles ended up owing Kelly about $1 million, or roughly $500,000 per year.

But now that Kelly has been fired, it creates an interesting scenario, as ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio pointed out. The 49ers could argue the Eagles still owe Kelly the money from their contract, and the Eagles could argue that the 49ers should still have to pay.

Via Florio:

Ultimately, the two sides may end up submitting the issue to the league office for resolution. There likely won’t be much precedent, given that not many coaches get fired by one NFL team while they are still earning paychecks from another NFL team that fired him.

Whatever the case, Kelly should end up earning plenty of cash in the near future.

As for the 49ers, Kelly’s contract isn’t the only one to worry about. ESPN’s Adam Schefter said on “SportsCenter” Monday morning that San Francisco owes $69 million to former head and assistant coaches.

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How Will Kaepernick Do In His Start?


Written by Mark Schofield at Washington Post.com

Chip Kelly’s San Francisco 49ers, sitting last in the NFC West at 1-4, have changed quarterbacks, replacing Blaine Gabbert with Colin Kaepernick. With the switch, there is hope that Kaepernick can return to form — perhaps with a return to his roots — as an upper-tier quarterback in the league.

At the height of his career, Kaepernick was a dynamic young quarterback who thrived in former coach Jim Harbaugh’s offense, leading them to a Super Bowl berth in 2012. During that season, Kaepernick completed 62.4 percent of his passes for 1,814 yards and 10 touchdowns, with only three interceptions. During the playoffs, Kaepernick sustained this level of play, completing 61.3 percent of his passes for 798 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions over a three-game stretch.

Everything changed during the 2014 season, though, as the 49ers finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs for the first time under Harbaugh. While Kaepernick’s 60.5 percent completion percentage and 19 to 10 touchdown-to-interception ratio were similar to his 2013 numbers, signs of trouble were already present. His yards per drop back showed a steep decline: In 2012, Kaepernick ranked No. 2 in this metric at 7.39; he fell to ninth in 2013 (6.71) and 22nd in 2014 (6.11).

Last season? Kaepernick ranked 35th in the league at 5.46.

How then can Kelly and the 49ers coaching staff get Kaepernick back to the level at which he performed in 2012 and 2013? The answer lies in the pistol formation.

Kaepernick played under coach Chris Ault, the innovator of the pistol offense, at the University of Nevada, finishing as the only quarterback in Football Bowl Subdivision history to have passed for more than 10,000 and rushed for more than 4,000 yards in a collegiate career.

During their run to the Super Bowl, the 49ers used the pistol formation 49.2 percent of the time on offense throughout the 2012 playoffs, in sharp contrast to the regular season where they used it on just 70 of their 969 offensive plays. In 2013, San Francisco used the formation on 15.3 percent of regular season plays, well above the league average of 3.5 percent. On these plays, Kaepernick was at his best in terms of yards per attempt (9.4) and yards per completion (5.9). By contrast, in a traditional offense under center, Kaepernick averaged 7.1 yards per attempt and 5.0 yards per completion.

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NFL Training Camp Storylines To Watch For

Written by Adam Schein at NFL.com

The return of football means the return of football chatter. And let’s be honest: Much of the chatter is, well, hot air. You have guys making headlines in late July and August who, in many cases, just won’t be factors from September through February.

But not to fear: The Schein Nine is here!

Allow me to keep you focused this training camp. Avoid getting bogged down in the minutiae! Here are nine things we SHOULD be talking about in the coming weeks:

1) The QB situation we should be talking about: Joe Flacco’s recovery

Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets just reached an agreement. Going forward, we’re certain to hear a bunch about the quarterback competitions in Denver, San Francisco and Cleveland. But I’m here to say that everyone should pay close attention to what’s going on at Ravens camp. Joe Flacco’s health is, quite simply, everything for Baltimore. Yes, Joe Flacco is elite. He’s a Super Bowl champ with a rocket for an arm. Flacco leads by example — and the Ravens follow.

Baltimore placed six players on the Physically Unable to Perform list to start camp. Flacco was not one of these players. Highly significant. The RavensQB ripped up his ACL last November, so being ready for everything at training camp counts as a big deal.

The Ravens had incredibly bad luck with injuries last year. As the USA Today recently pointed out, eight Week 1 starters in 2015 went on to suffer season-ending injuries, with Flacco,Terrell Suggs, Steve Smith Sr. and Justin Forsett being the most prominent. No wonder Baltimore crashed and burned to 5-11 — the first losing season in the John Harbaugh era.

If Flacco can stay healthy and be on the field for Week 1, that will be a good way to flip to script. This organization, with a great coach and front office, should return to solid ground in 2016. With a healthy Flacco, Baltimore will be in the mix for the playoffs. Without an injured or compromised Flacco? Baltimore will be in trouble (again).

2) The head coach we should be talking about: Chip Kelly

Of course it’s Chip Kelly. It’s always Chip Kelly.

Chip Kelly The General Manager got Chip Kelly The Coach fired in Philly. Frankly, his general personality didn’t appear to help him much, either. But I digress. I was happy to see Kelly get a second chance with the San Francisco 49ers.

Say what you will about Kelly’s personnel savvy (or lack thereof), but the guy can coach. In three years with Philadelphia — a team that went 4-12 in the season prior to his arrival — Kelly logged two 10-win seasons, one division title and an overall record of 26-21. Could do much worse than that.

Now, let’s see what he learned from his first pro coaching assignment. How will his relationships be with the players and the front office? What about implementing his system? Does he have a quarterback? Is Blaine Gabbert reallyleading this competition? Can he rebootColin Kaepernick’s once-promising career?

There’s always so much intrigue with the quirky coach.

But the expectations are low around Kelly’s new team. The roster is pretty bare. Honestly, San Francisco might be the worst team in the NFC. I love Chip, but the Niners are so far away from where they were just a few years ago under Jim Harbaugh.

Could Chip shock the world with his offense? Will he combust? I can’t wait to find out.

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Kaepernick Requests A Trade

Written by Mark Purdy at MercuryNews.com

Jed York, the 49ers’ owner, wants Colin Kaepernick to be a 49ers quarterback. That should not be news. But after events of the last week, it qualifies as such.

“All I can tell you,” York told me, “is that the last conversation I had with Kap was a good conversation. I asked how he was feeling. I hope he’s doing well. I care about his health and well-being because I think he can be a big piece of what we’re doing, going forward.”

Frankly, I am not sure how the ongoing Kaepernick reality show is going to end. I’m not certain that Kaepernick or the 49ers do, either.

But I know this much: The NFL, which does such a genius job of keeping itself in the news all 12 months of every year, must have loved events of this past week in Indianapolis at the scouting combine.

First, in the We-Really-Like-Kap microphone drill, new 49ers coach Chip Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke both said they look forward to having Kaepernick on the roster after April 1 when his $11.9 million salary for 2016 becomes guaranteed.

Next, in the Not-So-Fast-You-Guys vertical jump, reports surfaced that Kaepernick is upset with the 49ers and wants to be traded.

Finally, in the Could-It-Happen shuttle drill, there was speculation that the 49ers might simply release Kaepernick on April 1. That way, they would avoid paying all that money to an allegedly discontented quarterback whose rehab from offseason surgery might not be complete by then, anyway.

We’ll see how the rest plays out. But the last option seems to be off the table. After all, the final authority on whether the 49ers will cut Kaepernick a check on April 1 is York. And that’s his intention.

“I think that it was very clear from Chip, from Trent and ultimately with my blessing to say that we’re more than comfortable paying Kap,” York said. “Because they want him here. Chip thinks he would be a great fit for our offense.”

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The New Age Debate: Talent vs. “Fit”

Written by Jalil Phillips at Total Sports Live

With the Eagles coming off the worst losses of the Chip Kelly era, the talent on the roster has been under even more fire than usual. Being blown out by Tampa Bay and their rookie quarterback was more surprising than the Broncos dropping a 50-burger on the team in Kelly’s first season as an NFL coach.

The team was just learning the nuances of a 3-4 defense after being a “Wide-9″ 4-3 team under Andy Reid so everyone expected THAT team to experience defensive growing pains and that is exactly what happened. Being blown out by the Lions was even more surprising, especially considering the Lions were 3-7 heading into the Turkey Day matchup.

So keeping all the context of the current season in mind, including the inconsistency on offense and the seeming lack of talent throughout the roster, the question that pops into everyone’s mind is actually quite clear.

Kelly has been outspoken since his arrival on the NFL scene about the kind of locker room he wants to cultivate. He made very clear, through his roster moves, that he wanted the ‘Jordan Matthews’ and ‘Riley Coopers’ of the world but what do they bring that other players don’t?

He then topped those roster moves by shipping outspoken talents such as Desean Jackson, Lesean McCoy, and Evan Mathis out the front door. What didn’t they bring to the table that he wanted? The ultimate question is simple.

When given a team that does not necessarily fit the locker room culture you desire, do you build a culture that fits your current locker room and recruit talent that fits this culture or do you create a new culture you are comfortable with and change the roster to fit that culture?

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What’s Going on With the Eagles and Chip Kelly?

Written by Bryan Gibberman at Bloguin

The Philadelphia Eagles are off to a disappointing 1-3 start in a season when expectations were high. I even picked them to win the Super Bowl (whoops).

Chip Kelly, the head coach and face of the franchise, has come under fire. Kelly’s vaunted offense is ranked 27th in offensive DVOA by Football Outsiders metric — the pass offense is 22nd and the running offense his gameplans are based around comes in at 30th. For a variety of reasons Kelly hasn’t been able to get the group to function at an even average level.

While the high profile signings of running backs DeMarco Murray and Ryan Matthews are catching heat, it was Kelly’s decision to release last season’s two starting guards that are hurting him most. Philadelphia didn’t properly replace Evan Mathis and Todd Herrmans either through the draft or free agency. After four games the Eagles are averaging 3.1 yards per carry, second lowest in the NFL ahead of only the Detroit Lions.

For most of the first quarter of the season Sam Bradford, another Kelly acquisition, has looked like the quarterback he was with the St. Louis Rams. During Kelly’s first two seasons he was able to bump up the play of  Mark Sanchez and Nick Foles, but that hasn’t happened with Bradford to this point.

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