Jan 10, 2013, 12:21 AM EDT
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 Philly.com 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.
Oct 30, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT
With a little over 48 hours until Notre Dame and Navy play, the final pieces of installation around going in before the chess match between two coaching staffs take place. For the Irish, defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder gets his first chance at stopping the triple-option in over a decade.
Oct 29, 2014, 3:32 PM EDT
Drop your questions below or on Twitter @KeithArnold.
Oct 29, 2014, 2:11 PM EDT
For a man that’s had more success against Notre Dame than any of his predecessors over the past two generations, Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo certainly doesn’t think he’s figured out the Irish. In fact, for his Midshipmen team to win, Niumatalolo acknowledges that it takes more than just his team playing near-perfect football. He needs Notre Dame’s help as well.
Oct 29, 2014, 12:21 PM EDT
With last night’s announcement had all eyes on the first announcement of the College Football Playoff rankings, the immediate concern is Navy. While we can spend the next five weeks worrying about the view from 30,000 feet, credit Brian Kelly for understanding that the Midshipmen present the most clear and present danger.
Oct 28, 2014, 8:44 PM EDT
The first College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday evening. And Notre Dame has some work to do. The selection committee’s first ballot has the Irish slotted in at 10th in the country, a middle-of-the-pack one-loss team according to the 12-person voting panel.
Oct 28, 2014, 4:33 PM EDT
With a week off between Florida State and Navy, Brian Kelly and his coaching staff had an extra week of preparation for Ken Niumatalolo’s triple-option attack. Allowing his team to leave campus during the university’s fall break, Kelly afforded his players a chance to recharge their batteries after being on campus since June.
Oct 27, 2014, 2:09 PM EDT
Among the many reasons Charlie Weis lost his dream job coaching Notre Dame was the Irish’s stumbles in November. Even with a guaranteed 10-year contract, Jack Swarbrick couldn’t watch Notre Dame melt down in November for another year, with Weis’ final two seasons ending with Notre Dame going 1-9 after Halloween. That’s a scary movie franchise that needed killing, no matter the expense.
Oct 25, 2014, 2:31 PM EDT
Before we have an Irish-free Saturday, let’s get to some questions. For those of you wondering what you should do on a day usually committed to football, the world is your oyster. Or you could watch some of Notre Dame’s opponents do battle.
Oct 24, 2014, 1:09 PM EDT
When Brian VanGorder’s name surfaced as Notre Dame looked for a new defensive coordinator, there wasn’t necessarily a lot of buzz behind the hire. While VanGorder fit many of the criteria that went along with a Brian Kelly hire, the big-picture reaction wasn’t one of universal support.
Oct 23, 2014, 1:28 PM EDT
There is no football game this weekend. For a Notre Dame football team that just played three-straight tight games, that’s a good thing. (For Irish fans, it’s a victory as well. Go buy a pumpkin and get outside in the fall weather.) As promised, let’s look back at the first eight weeks of the season. Notre Dame sits at 6-1, with a place in the College Football Playoff still very much in play.
Oct 23, 2014, 10:41 AM EDT
For the second time in a week, Notre Dame’s recruiting class landed a playmaking linebacker. During a press conference streamed live on ESPN.com, Florida’s Tevon Coney pledged his commitment to the Irish, picking Notre Dame over finalists Miami and Florida.
Oct 23, 2014, 12:07 AM EDT
Drop your questions below. Or on Twitter @KeithArnold.
Oct 22, 2014, 11:43 AM EDT
With Notre Dame’s scheduling agreement in place with the ACC, Jack Swarbrick and the Irish athletic department can find some certainty in their future slates. That certainty was announced Tuesday, with dates for five ACC games in place through 2019 and matchups set through 2025.
Oct 21, 2014, 7:28 PM EDT
After eight weeks, the forecast for the first College Football Playoff is coming into focus. After falling to Florida State last weekend, the Irish lost pole position. But as a one-loss team now likely competing for one of the final spots in the four-team event, Notre Dame remains one of the top dark horse candidates.
Oct 21, 2014, 12:14 PM EDT
At this point, it doesn’t matter that the ACC has reversed course, deciding that the pass interference penalty was on C.J. Prosise after all. And that they’ve acknowledged that the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty they missed for P.J. Williams removing his helmet should’ve set up Notre Dame with a 1st-and-goal at the 9-yard line.
We’re moving on. (I promise.)
Oct 20, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT
Usually, Brian Kelly gives his team 24 hours to celebrate a win or get over a loss. That rule was likely tested — and you couldn’t blame him if it was slightly relaxed — after Saturday night’s 31-27 loss.
“We need to give our kids a break. They’ve been going since June,” Kelly said on Sunday. “Our first bye week we kept them here to stay on top of their academics. We’re going to give them a little time off. But we’ll come back recharged, ready to go.”
Oct 19, 2014, 3:56 PM EDT
Upon second inspection, Brian Kelly hasn’t gained any clarity on the offensive pass interference call that took a game-winning touchdown off the board. While the head coach has moved on, with the Irish getting some much-needed time off during fall break, Kelly’s opinion on the play — now that he’s realized the penalty was on Will Fuller, not C.J. Prosise — is even more muddled.
Oct 19, 2014, 2:37 AM EDT
With 13 seconds left, Corey Robinson caught the 4th-down pass from Everett Golson and walked into the end zone, all but uncovered. And for a moment, it looked like Notre Dame pulled off a win for the ages.
Oct 18, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT
It’s finally here. Not just the biggest game of the year, but the ultimate test for this Notre Dame football team. Entering Doak Campbell Stadium against the defending national champs and Heisman Trophy winner, we’ll see if the Irish have what it takes to upset the Seminoles.
Oct 18, 2014, 6:08 PM EDT
With the big showdown just a few hours away, let’s get to the mailbag questions.