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Reports: Kelly talked with Eagles about head coaching job

Jan 10, 2013, 12:21 AM EDT

Notre Dame head coach Kelly walks the sideline in the fourth quarter against Alabama during their NCAA BCS National Championship college football game in Miami

Talk about a good way to forget about a 28-point loss in the National Championship game.

Fresh off Notre Dame’s 42-14 loss to Alabama, multiple reports swirled Wednesday night that Brian Kelly discussed the Eagles head coaching vacancy with Philadelphia brass on Tuesday.

ESPN reporters Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter reported that Kelly interviewed with the Eagles on Tuesday, while and Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reported similar tidbits. The news follows rumors from before the BCS title game that suggested multiple teams had Kelly on their shortlist of candidates.

While there’s been no word out of Notre Dame officially, Kelly is said to be spending a few days on vacation with his family before returning to South Bend before the recruiting dead period ends.

Dozens of reporters have spent the past few hours pursing through Kelly’s comments about the NFL in the days leading up to the title game. Kelly didn’t dismiss anything, but merely said he’s completely focused on the job at hand. But with the Irish now finished with the season and a 12-1 season putting Notre Dame back on the map, the timing is perfect for Kelly to leap to a high paying NFL gig or secure a handsome extension from Notre Dame and athletic director Jack Swarbrick.

Talking to a few people in and around the program, there was a feeling that those contract discussions had already begun, with an announced extension sooner than later. That’s what makes the timing of these NFL reports a bit worrisome for Irish fans. If there ever was a reminder that Kelly had climbed from his last two jobs after three seasons, this was certainly it.

That said, it bears mentioning that the last time a Notre Dame coach saw even a sniff of NFL interest, he received a ten-year contract extension that’ll continue to be paid out for the next half-decade. And with Kelly gone from his perch at Notre Dame and unreachable for the next few days, never was there a better time for the popular coach’s representative to float a rumor to NFL reporters, adding some urgency to Swarbrick’s timetable. One senior level NFL executive told me that’s exactly what he thinks is currently happening.

An extension could also come in handy if Kelly was hoping to get his assistants paid. With Bob Diaco and Chuck Martin’s names floating across a few team’s wish lists, contract extensions and pay bumps could help keep Kelly’s staff intact after replacing three coaches last season.

With Signing Day less than a month away, Kelly’s situation will likely be resolved by January 12, when a recruiting dead period ends. From there, it’ll be a sprint to the finish line for the Irish staff, who will go to work locking down a class that’s already ranked No. 1 by Rivals.

Still, seeing Kelly’s name linked to an NFL franchise, and seeing the head coach reportedly listen to the team, is an eye-opening experience for Notre Dame fans, a group that had some clamoring to get rid of Kelly after ten losses in his first two seasons.

In a season that was filled with several twists and turns nobody saw coming, it turns out that even after the final whistle blows, the ride continues.

  1. poppajohn818 - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    It saddens me that he would do this. His leaving would set ND back 10 yrs.

  2. kiopta1 - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Man Anzalone show flips fast.

  3. rcali - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Anyone else want to throw up now after remember him sitting with true Champion coaches Lou and Ara on that set in Florida? You are either in or out, and Kelly has shown his true colors yet again. Recruits are already jumping ship.

  4. ndgoldandblue - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Anzalone…gone. What the hell, coach? None of this makes any sense. The guy had done so much…I don’t know…ambassador work on behalf of the university. From day one, he came across as an ND guy. He talks continually about what is required to succeed as a football player at the University of Notre Dame. It’s like the guy was a student there himself. Then, he pulls this crap?! As I said before, I just don’t get it.

    This guy better quit the Howard Hughes act, come out of hiding, and make a decision one way or the other. Things are starting to snowball. Don’t keep the university in limbo like this. That’s just completely disrespectful. If Kelly chooses to leave, they need to make an immediate move on a coaching replacement. Otherwise, the program could lose a lot more valuable recruits. Doesn’t BK know that?

    • ndirish10 - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:50 PM

      Anzalone was gone back in October, he is just using this as an excuse. Dad always wanted him to head on to Florida. Not surprised at all. Now as far as any others…

  5. sbhooridas - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    You know, I think Keith may be hitting on something here: this is the price you pay to win at the highest level. Other more successful schools deal with this all the time. Some do it privately, others do it publicly a la Chip Kelly. The optics don’t look good on this situation, but as Keith says, folks are parsing every thing Kelly said at his presser. I’d rather be right than first. Keith has done a good job of taking the emotion out of these types of things. ND Nation needs to ease up here. ND will always be bigger than it’s coach.

    Besides, if he leaves, we’ll crack on him forgetting that he left Cincy before a BCS game to come to ND. Didn’t mind it when we got it; can’t be surprised if it happens to us.

    • c4evr - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:18 AM

      Doesn’t matter what the Truth is, it’s all perception at this point. But the indisputable fact is he took the interview. And that was poor judgment on his part if he knew deep in his heart that he’d likely return to ND. Actually, there might be a silver lining in all this. Imagine how difficult it would be to hire a new head coach if BK were fired. BUT, if Kelly CHOOSES to leave a rising program that was just a tad too early to the big dance, then think how easy it would be to land a 1st class head coach to continue the inevitable comeback.

    • 4hrchubby - Jan 11, 2013 at 7:38 PM

      Besides, if he leaves, we’ll crack on him forgetting that he left Cincy before a BCS game to come to ND. Didn’t mind it when we got it; can’t be surprised if it happens to us.

      True, true, true….you are one of the few ND fans that came out and said it.

      I said when he did that, it says a lot about the character of the man, to leave those boys in Cincinnati after saying he wouldn’t…and right before their BCS bowl, he didn’t care about them, it was all about him.

      ND fans didn’t think it was such a big deal then, you think it is a big deal now that it possibly can happen to you.

      I got flamed on this board for saying as much

      The same now, all he cares about is HIMSELF, how in the world can he talk to the Eagles and not expect major fallout? especially this close to signing day?

  6. mikes1160 - Jan 10, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    It’s a profession. If folks from higher level organizations want to talk to you, you talk. Has anyone freaking considered that this is a learning experience for Kelly? Settle down…..if he loves us, he truly loves us.

  7. mikes1160 - Jan 10, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    One more thing: Tom Clements?

  8. c4evr - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    I just read some ESPN commentary that suggested Kelly took the interview to divert attention away from the team’s disappointing showing in the BCS… what?! That’s like taking people’s attention away from a terrible traffic accident by saying, “Look, over there! There’s a bloody child that was thrown from the car.” But, there’s now proof that he’s starting to get it… in the halftime interview, he actually caught himself at the end of saying ‘maybe Alabama won’t come out after halftime’ and tried to recover. How can any of the thousands of future recruits hear that and see it in a positive light? The pressures of this program are clearly taking a toll on him.

  9. mungman69 - Jan 11, 2013 at 7:03 AM


    The Eagle fans booed a drunk, finger flippen Santa Claus and although it was very crude that they booed Donavan McNabb’s selection they were correct. Neither McNabb nor Reid ever won a Super Bowl.
    I didn’t say that the Eagle fans had class, I said that they had knowledge.

  10. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Jan 11, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    I love that Muschamp and Saban are working. Always hungry.

  11. haterhurter937 - Jan 12, 2013 at 4:18 AM

    Brian “I wanna be loved like that” Kelly will leave when you least expect it.

  12. mungman69 - Jan 12, 2013 at 6:41 AM

    Let’s just wait and see. I can’t see him leaving.

  13. grandpafisherman - Jan 12, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    Kelly has shown that he is merely concerned with himself, and any team that he coaches is just a way to advance that cause. A great teacher is truly concerned with his students. A great coach is likewise concerned with his players. Kelly is neither. He is nothing but a charlatan, and ND should not renew his contract. The REAL Brian Kelly has finally made himself known, just as he did the first year when he yelled and screamed at his players, instead of trying to teach and improve them. I hope Notre Dame tells him not to come back. There are things more important than always winning.

  14. mblue24 - Jan 13, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Kelly just played the game as every other did. Can’t blame him.

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