By Tony Grossi
Did the Browns get duped by Chip Kelly, or dumped?
Was he really interested in them, or did he merely use them to get a better deal?
Is he truly a flake, as a source said the Browns came to conclude, or the next NFL coaching genius?
These questions can’t be answered right now. All we know is the Philadelphia Eagles landed the hottest name in the college ranks and the Browns – at this point – look bad again.
Kelly has now changed his mind two times in the past two weeks. First he wanted to take his state-of-the-art offensive system to the NFL. Then he didn’t and said he would stay at Oregon. Now he has accepted the job with the Eagles.
Psychiatrist to Kelly: “Do you have trouble making up your mind, Chip?”
Kelly: “Yes. I mean, no. I mean, sometimes. Oh, I don’t know. Do you?”
Browns fans might be boiling at the thought of another big name spurning them. Nick Saban, Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden are three others. But look at it another way.
Who’s to say that Kelly won’t have another change of heart and leave the Eagles in two years, as Saban did to the Dolphins. Or, worse, in 13 games, as Bobby Petrino did to the Atlanta Falcons?
So there’s a lot of history there to excuse the Browns for not waiting for Kelly or promising him the moon.
Still, the Kelly change-of-heart does raise more questions about the Browns’ leadership under CEO Joe Banner.
This comes on the heels of a national report that Ken Whisenhunt walked away from the Browns because Banner wanted a voice in the makeup of Whisenhunt’s coaching staff.
Kelly reportedly will be given full control over football operations by the Eagles. Banner surely did not want to give that up, especially to a coach who has no experience in the NFL.
But in Rob Chudzinski, Banner found a first-time head coach comfortable with the restrictions that come with the position. Chudzinski wanted to be here. There’s a lot to be said about that.
|Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com. |
He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 46 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
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