Browns CEO Joe Banner Didn't Trust Chip Kelly and More AFC North News

Andrea HangstFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 21, 2013

In Peter King's latest "Monday Morning Quarterback" column for Sports Illustrated, he elaborates on why the Cleveland Browns chose not to continue pursuing Chip Kelly, the Oregon offensive guru who went on to accept the Philadelphia Eagles' coaching vacancy.

Joe Banner, Browns CEO, told King:

We removed ourselves from the process. We really liked Chip. He's intriguing, a very different thinker, and very smart. But you could see he was uncertain what he wanted to do. He may be in Philadelphia 10 years or longer and have a terrific career. But the fact he committed to Tampa Bay last year, backed out, then seemed all year to be leaning toward going to the NFL, then being so uncertain with us, we just felt it was too big a gamble. If there was no ambivalence, we may have offered him the job.

No, the worry wasn't about how Kelly's offense would have translated to the Browns' personnel—it was instead a matter of trust. Considering that the Browns wound up hiring Rob Chudzinski to coach the team—a man who is clearly personally and professionally devoted to both the Browns and the NFL—trust was a major factor in their search. The Browns are better off after moving on from Kelly, no matter what he accomplishes with the Eagles.


Baltimore Ravens

Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun says that the Baltimore Ravens offensive line deserves a great deal of credit for the team's success, especially in the postseason. The reworking of the line two weeks ago, he argues, is the reason why both the passing and running games clicked at the best possible time.

Bleacher Report's Donald Wood says that the Ravens win over the Patriots has confirmed that Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is among the elite passers in the NFL.


Cincinnati Bengals

Though Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden interviewed for a number of the league's head coaching vacancies, he was offered none of the jobs and himself would have rather remained with the team. Now, says the Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy, Gruden needs to figure out how to turn around the Bengals offense, which slumped at the end of the season and in the playoffs.

Andrew Dunn of Bleacher Report offers up his latest seven-round mock draft for the Bengals.


Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Cleveland Browns return man Josh Cribbs will be playing in this year's Pro Bowl now that AFC first-teamer Jacoby Jones will be headed to the Super Bowl with the Ravens.

Michael Youngman of Bleacher Report says that the Browns could be legitimate playoff contenders in 2013.


Pittsburgh Steelers

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette lobbies on behalf of former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis, who is again a finalist to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year.

Chris G. of Bleacher Report offers up five Steelers who could become starters at their respective positions in 2013.