Skip to content

Chip not the only Kelly on the NFL’s radar?

Jan 4, 2013, 2:40 AM EDT

Michigan v Notre Dame Getty Images

As college coaches like Bill O’Brien and Doug Marrone find themselves on the short list for several NFL head coaching openings, the lone defeated head coach of a BCS program was bound to find his name coming up in a few discussions.

But with Notre Dame’s biggest football game in the past 20 years less than a week away, seeing Brian Kelly‘s name come up in the conversation of college coaches primed to head to the NFL certainly raised an eyebrow or two.

The discussions started in earnest after CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman tweeted that Chip Kelly wasn’t the only Kelly generating interest amongst NFL general managers looking for a new coach. That led to ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio running with the story, echoing Feldman’s sentiments while discussing the similarities between the head coaching job at Notre Dame and the top spot at an NFL franchise.

Florio even went on air today to discuss the report, adding some unique thoughts to the conversation.

***

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

***

Usually discussion like this flies across a message board after an anonymous blogger discusses it. But Feldman and Florio — two reporters that have tremendous reputations (and disclaimer, have played a huge part in me being where I am today), turn this into something that’s more than just a water cooler discussion.

Personally, I don’t see Kelly leaving Notre Dame for a head coaching job. Just about any opportunity he’s given will likely be a step backwards compared to the responsibility and prestige he currently has in South Bend. Whether this story is the product of excellent agenting — remember Charlie Weis’ 10-year contract extension after the Giants started sniffing round? — or legitimate news, a few things have me thinking that Kelly has little interest in coaching on Sundays.

First, Kelly has always identified Notre Dame as his dream job. After 19 years as a head coach, Kelly jumped at the Irish head job as soon as it was offered to him, making his departure from undefeated Cincinnati an awkward situation after he left his undefeated team to recruit for a bowl-less Irish squad.

Secondly, Kelly has turned in the opposite direction of the similarly surnamed Chip, who intrigues NFL teams because of his reputation as an offensive innovator. When he took the job at Notre Dame, many expected Brian Kelly to bring a fast paced, up-tempo offense to South Bend. But Kelly has shown himself to be a coach fairly pliable in regards to scheme, and his offensive struggles the past few seasons stopped any offensive guru comments in their tracks.

Lastly, the educator in Kelly likely finds the college job more rewarding that any NFL position. Whether it’s the tough love he gives his players, as often noted by his red-faced sideline demeanor, or the development process he uses with 18-t0-21-year-old players, Kelly the college coach with a very plentiful fiefdom probably holds more sway than any position where he’d answer to a general manager and owner.

At a time like this, coaching candidates come fast and furious, with some reporters eager to throw something against the wall, in hopes that it sticks. Brian Kelly, the consensus collegiate coach of the year, deserves to have his name on just about any short list out there, especially after leading Notre Dame to their first championship opportunity in 20 years.

But I’m a long way from believing Kelly is on his way anywhere after laying the foundation of a potential Notre Dame dynasty. That’s a head coaching job that’ll leaving a legacy far more enduring than anything the NFL can offer.

Latest Posts
  1. Bye-week Mailbag: Life at the quarter turn

    Sep 19, 2014, 2:46 PM EDT

    Purdue v Notre Dame Getty Images

    As summer officially ends after this weekend, Notre Dame fans get one last uninterrupted Saturday to soak it in. So while the Irish are off, let’s take a look at who Notre Dame’s future opponents are playing and then get to the mailbag.

  2. Rumors swirl about offensive line shuffle

    Sep 18, 2014, 1:22 PM EDT

    notre-dame-ol

    Over the weekend, Brian Kelly talked candidly about finding a better performance from his offensive line. With talented personnel that’s still finding its identity after Zack Martin and Chris Watt graduated, Kelly and offensive line coach Harry Hiestand have an off week to find the five optimal starters — and their positions — before taking on Syracuse next weekend.

  3. Mailbag: Now Open

    Sep 18, 2014, 11:31 AM EDT

    Mailbag

    Questions before a weekend without Notre Dame football? Drop them below or on Twitter @KeithArnold.

  4. Jenkins addresses football suspensions to Notre Dame faculty

    Sep 17, 2014, 1:36 PM EDT

    Rev. John Jenkins,Jack Swarbrick Rev. John Jenkins,Jack Swarbrick

    After missing the first three games of the season, the fate of DaVaris Daniels, Eilar Hardy, Kendall Moore, KeiVarae Russell and Ishaq Williams is still up in the air. After announcing an official investigation into academic dishonesty in mid-August, updates on the status of the five players have been limited to head coach Brian Kelly’s weekly loop of uncertainty.

  5. Notre Dame bye week number crunching

    Sep 16, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT

    Everett Golson Everett Golson

    With the Irish getting a much needed Saturday off, we won’t hear from Brian Kelly until he’s previewing Syracuse for us next weekend. But with one quarter of the season in the books, let’s take a look at some of the surprises after three games, digging deep in to the stats after victories over Rice, Michigan and Purdue.

  6. It’s still way too early, but Notre Dame’s path is open to CFB Playoff

    Sep 15, 2014, 12:36 PM EDT

    Tyler Murphy, Josh Bordner, Bobby Wolford, Scott Felix Tyler Murphy, Josh Bordner, Bobby Wolford, Scott Felix

    It’s still way too early.

    I’ll type it again: It’s still way too early. But with one quarter of Notre Dame’s football season behind them, the Irish’s path to the first ever College Football Playoff looks wide open.

  7. The good, the bad, the ugly: Notre Dame vs. Purdue

    Sep 14, 2014, 11:08 PM EDT

    Raheem Mostert, Romeo Okwara Raheem Mostert, Romeo Okwara

    Don’t tell me you wouldn’t take it. Notre Dame, entering their first off week at 3-0. The offense, averaging a hearty 36.3 points a game. The defense, giving up just 10.3 points a game.

  8. Five things we learned: Notre Dame 30, Purdue 14

    Sep 14, 2014, 1:32 AM EDT

    Purdue v Notre Dame Getty Images

    After two weekends of crisp, mistake-free football, Notre Dame walked into Lucas Oil Stadium expecting to roll over Purdue. And they played like it.

  9. Live Blog — Notre Dame vs. Purdue

    Sep 13, 2014, 5:13 PM EDT

    notre-dame-shamrock-series

    With two victories behind them in impressive fashion, Notre Dame has a chance to start September with three straight victories for the second time in three seasons. Off to a clean start, the Irish are tied for the best in the nation in turnover margin, sitting pretty at +6 heading into Saturday night’s game.

  10. Watch Notre Dame vs. Purdue anywhere

    Sep 13, 2014, 1:48 PM EDT

    SportsLiveExtra

    As usual, for those of you away from the TV on Saturday night, we’ve got your covered. Notre Dame’s primetime affair with Purdue will air not just on NBC at 7:30 p.m., but will be hosted as part of the NBC Live Extra app, as well as online at NBCSports.com

  11. Mailbag: Purdue edition

    Sep 12, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT

    Michael Bertsch Michael Bertsch

    With the festivities already started in Indianapolis, let’s empty the mailbag before tomorrow night’s Shamrock Series game against Purdue.

  12. Pregame Six Pack: An all Hoosiers Shamrock Series

    Sep 12, 2014, 3:26 AM EDT

    Purdue v Notre Dame Getty Images

    It’s that time of year again. The annual Shamrock Series. For a program built upon tradition and history, consider the Shamrock Series something similar — only started five years ago. (So maybe not that similar at all.)

  13. Hazell understands the challenge at hand

    Sep 11, 2014, 5:52 PM EDT

    Western Michigan v Purdue Western Michigan v Purdue

    With a betting line that’s hovering just above four touchdowns, this weekend’s Shamrock Series game looks like it could be the most lopsided matchup since the series premiere against Washington State. But if the last five years tell us anything, expect the unexpected against Purdue.

  14. Mailbag: Now open

    Sep 10, 2014, 5:58 PM EDT

    Mailbag

    Two weeks in and we’ve got plenty to talk about. So if you’ve got questions on Shamrock Series, Purdue, the end of Michigan, or anything else… Drop it in the comments or hit me on Twitter @KeithArnold.

  15. BK on Jim Rome: Didn’t see Michigan shutout coming

    Sep 10, 2014, 5:28 PM EDT

    Brian Kelly, Brady Hoke Brian Kelly, Brady Hoke

    With his team 2-0 and looking well positioned to get out of September undefeated, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly was a guest on Jim Rome’s radio show Wednesday afternoon. The Irish head coach shared some interesting thoughts, while also being very candid about the Irish’s 31-0 defeat of Michigan.

  16. And in that corner… The Purdue Boilermakers

    Sep 10, 2014, 12:03 PM EDT

    Hunt, Dean Hunt, Dean

    For the second week in a row, we’ll be up late watching Notre Dame, only this Saturday it may be tough to decipher who the Fighting Irish are. Travis Miller of SBNation’s Hammer & Rails gets us ready for Purdue, as this year’s Shamrock Series kicks off this weekend.

  17. With Michigan in past, focus shifts to Purdue

    Sep 9, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Notre Dame v Michigan Getty Images

    As Brian Kelly pointed out on Saturday night, the decisive victory over Michigan counts as only one win. So while Saturday night’s game against Purdue looks like one of the more lopsided on the Irish schedule, consider the past two matchups.

  18. Even after shutout, Irish hope best is yet to come for young D

    Sep 8, 2014, 7:33 PM EDT

    Michigan v Notre Dame Getty Images

    During the postgame interviews, it was hard for players to hide the joy they were feeling. For a team that’s struggled to beat Michigan in the past, the 31-0 victory certainly earned the Irish every minute of the 24 hours they planned to celebrate.

  19. Jaylon Smith nominated for Lott IMPACT Player of the Week

    Sep 8, 2014, 1:37 PM EDT

    Jaylon Smith

    Fresh off his 10 tackle performance and leading Notre Dame to a 31-0 shutout of Michigan, linebacker Jaylon Smith earned a nomination for the Lott IMPACT Player of the Week award.

  20. The good, the bad, the ugly: Notre Dame vs. Michigan

    Sep 7, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    Michigan v Notre Dame Getty Images

    As the Notre Dame-Michigan rivalry takes an indefinite break, the Irish’s most lopsided victory in the series leaves the programs in two very different places. Even as Brian Kelly plays 19 first-year contributors (true and redshirt freshmen), the Irish won all three phases of the game. Let’s look at the good, the bad and the ugly.