Oregon’s Chip Kelly a top NFL coaching target again

Question of the Day

What has been the biggest debacle on Obama's watch?

View results

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — One of the first questions Oregon coach Chip Kelly was asked after arriving in Arizona for the Fiesta Bowl was about the possibility of coaching in the NFL.

The are-you-going-to-the-NFL questions haven’t let up in the five days since and only figure to pick up after seven coaches were fired Monday.

Deflection has been Kelly’s defense since the rumors started and it was no different after all those NFL openings cropped up.

“I’ve got a game to play,” Kelly said during the Fiesta Bowl’s media day on Monday. “We’re playing in the Fiesta Bowl. That’s the biggest thing in my life. If I allowed other things to get into my life, then they would be distractions, but there aren’t. Our focus 100 percent is on the Fiesta Bowl.”

Kelly has been an intriguing candidate for NFL teams for a few years.

The 49-year-old coach is known as an offensive innovator and his fast-paced, high-scoring offense has led to the most successful stretch in Oregon’s history.

The fifth-ranked Ducks have gone to four straight BCS bowl games, a run that includes a trip to the 2011 national championship game, Oregon’s first Rose Bowl win in 95 years last season and Thursday night’s Fiesta Bowl against No. 5 Kansas State at University of Phoenix Stadium.

The speculation over the past few years has been that Kelly has his eye on an NFL job and he even talked to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year before saying he had unfinished business in Eugene.

The rumors began to pick up this season and followed him to the desert, where he’s been asked about the NFL every day he’s been here and has given a different version of the same answer every time.

“My heart is to win today and that’s it,” Kelly said. “I know everybody wants to hear a different answer. And I know that at times when I don’t give you guys the answer that you guys want, then I’m being evasive. I’m not being evasive.”

One reason that Kelly’s stock is so high is that NFL teams are starting to embrace the hurry-all-the-time offense he has nearly perfected in Eugene.

In college, coaches have latched onto the no-huddle offense, with teams across the country employing a version of it.

NFL teams have always seemed to be reluctant to borrow from the college ranks, sticking to smash-mouth football for years even while college offenses had unprecedented success with the spread.

The mindset has changed, at least some, over the past few years as teams have looked for ways to get ahead of the defenses. Several NFL teams have gone the high-octane route on offense, including New England, Seattle, Washington and Green Bay, to a certain extent.

Kelly has been the standard-bearer for the redline approach in college. His Ducks have ranked no lower than sixth in the country in rushing yards since he became offensive coordinator in 2007 and have been in the top 10 in scoring and total offense every year but one.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player
You Might Also Like
  • Nathan Walker waits to take the ice during the Capitals' development camp at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington on Monday, July 9, 2012. (Ryan M.L. Young/The Washington Times)

    Nathan Walker’s NHL dreams send him around the world

  • Washington Nationals' Anthony Rendon, third from left, smiles as he warms up with his teammates who were were wearing t-shirts in support of him for the All Star game before an interleague baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Anthony Rendon not an All-Star, but he’s been Nats’ MVP

  • Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter speaks during a media availability in the dugout before an interleague baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Monday, July 7, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    LOVERRO: Suck-up Buck Showalter needs history lesson

  • Argentina's Maxi Rodriguez, left, celebrates with goalkeeper Sergio Romero after scoring the decisive goal during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the World Cup final. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

    Argentina beats Dutch in shootout to reach World Cup final

  • Washington Redskins safety Tanard Jackson speaks during a media availability after an NFL football training camp practice at Redskins Park, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012 in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Tanard Jackson suspended indefinitely by NFL — again

  • Celebrities In The News
  • This image from video released by Funny Or Die shows President Obama, left, with actor-comedian Zach Galifianakis during an appearance on "Between Two Ferns," the digital short with a laser focus on reaching people aged 18 to 34. The president urged young people to sign up for the new health care plan through an appearance posted Tuesday, March 11, 2014, on the comic website Funny or Die, bypassing TV talk show titans like Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel for an online audience. (AP Photo/Funny Or Die)

    Obama’s ‘Ferns’ interview gets Emmy nod

  • ** FILE ** In this Nov. 12, 2013, file photo, actor Alec Baldwin leaves court in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

    Alec Baldwin in talks to play Rob Ford-like mayor in new NBC drama

  • Dinesh D'Souza's "America: Imagine the World Without Her" got promising reviews from two major Hollywood publications. It opens nationwide Wednesday.

    D’Souza on Costco debacle: ‘It was really bizarre’