Oregon Coach Chip Kelly Turns Down Cleveland Browns Head Coaching Job

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2013

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 03:  Head coach Chip Kelly of the Oregon Ducks participates in a post-game press conference after they defeated the Kansas State Wildcats 35 to 17 in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 3, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

UPDATE: Friday, January 4 at 11:28 p.m. ET by Mike Hoag

The Cleveland Browns and Chip Kelly have not come to an agreement after a seven-hour meeting, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen (via Twitter):

Developing: Sources: Chip Kelly finishes "very positive" interview w/Browns, will interview w/Bills, Eagles. CLE favored (via @mortreport)

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 5, 2013

Cleveland is still favored to get the Oregon coach, but he will talk to the Buffalo Bills late Friday. On Saturday, he will speak with the Philadelphia Eagles, Mortensen said, according to Jamison Hensley.

In addition to Kelly, Cleveland has interviewed Penn State coach Bill O’Brien, former Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt, Syracuse coach Doug Marrone and Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton.

---End of Update---

Just one day after leading the University of Oregon to a win in the Fiesta Bowl, Chip Kelly is reportedly close to being hired as head coach of the Cleveland Browns.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com first reported the news via Twitter:

BREAKING: Chip Kelly is close to a deal to become the #Browns coach, according to a source informed of his situation.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 4, 2013

Kelly would replace Pat Shurmur, who was fired from the team after a 5-11 season. Overall, he only won nine games in two years with the club.

The two-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year has been the head coach of Oregon for the past four seasons, accumulating a 46-7 record over that time. His teams were able to reach a BCS bowl every year he was at the helm. 

In his time with the program, the coach has built up a reputation as an offensive guru. The 2012 team finished second in the nation with an average of 49.6 points per game and scored fewer than 35 points just once.

Most recently, the Ducks defeated Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl by a score of 35-17.

George Schroeder of USA Today reported that Oregon's current offensive coordinator, Mark Helfrich, would be promoted to head coach if Kelly were to leave.

As for the Browns, Kelly would likely improve an offense that ranked No. 25 in the league in yards and No. 24 in points scored.

Fortunately, there is plenty of room to get better with a trio of rookies—Brandon Weeden, Trent Richardson and Josh Gordon—leading the team in passing yards, rushing yards and receiving yards.

Cleveland is hoping that the Oregon coach would be able to resurrect a franchise that has not reached the playoffs since 2002. 



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