5 Reasons Why Philadelphia Eagles Should Be Worried About Chip Kelly Going To Texas
5 Reasons To Worry
After weeks of media anticipation, it has been confirmed that Mack Brown will be resigning his position as head coach of the University of Texas immediately after the Longhorns play the Oregon Ducks in the Alamo Bowl on December 30, 2013.
After an unorthodox team banquet, Brown informed his players that a new coach will be in place by early January. As we saw with USC’s single-day vetting of Steve Sarkisian, a quick hiring turnaround is necessary, because national signing day (February 5, 2013) is only 50 days away.
In the wake of this announcement, and the news that the University of Alabama’s Nick Saban has accepted a contract extension, the coaching “hot stove” has begun to heat up. Indeed, speculation about Texas’s list of possible replacements, from San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh to Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, is now fully percolating.
One prominent name has already been connected to the job: Chip Kelly.
When the rumors were brought to his attention this past Sunday, Kelly casually laughed them off, and stated flatly that he does not plan to speak with Texas. After that firm pronouncement, he quickly pivoted the conversation to the Philadelphia Eagles' Week 16 matchup with the Chicago Bears.
Unfortunately, his staunch dismissal will not end the speculation, nor should it. Eagles beat reporters know that it would be inappropriate for him to acknowledge any interest in the Texas job at this point, but they are obliged to seek comment given the stature of the position.
Should Eagles fans be concerned that Chip Kelly is near the top of the Longhorns' wish list? Absolutely. Here are some reasons why.
Matt Kelley is a Philadelphia Eagles and Fantasy Football contributor for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @fantasy_mansion or add him to your Google network.
5. Highest Paid Coach In Any Sport
The University of Texas's 20-year, $300 million Longhorn Network TV deal ensures that their future coach will be the highest paid head coach in any sport in the United States. The new hire could potentially make twice what Nick Saban will be making at Alabama.
4. Unprecedented College Dominance
During his four seasons at Oregon, Chip Kelly led the team to three Pac-12 Conference championships and four BCS game appearances. He has experienced unprecedented success at the college level.
In the NFL, however, the salary cap ensures that even the most well-managed professional franchises are able to sustain only a slight talent advantage over the competition. Play-calling innovations also have a much shorter shelf life at the hyper-competitive NFL level.
Sitting at 8-6 and coming off a 48-30 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, it would be understandable if Chip Kelly remembers his time at Oregon fondly and considers recapturing that consistent dominance at the University of Texas. With immense resources at his disposal, he could soon set his sights on a BCS National Championship and be the favorite to win the trophy each year.
3. Higher Purpose Working With Student-Athletes
According to the NCAA, college coaches play an integral role in the formative years of young athletes and are in a position to reinforce positive behavior and foster the educational development of student-athletes. While that sentiment can ring hollow at the highest levels of collegiate athletics, professional football remains fundamentally different from college ball.
In the pros, the coach-player relationship is similar the manager-employee relationship of Corporate America. After experiencing his first season at the professional level, it is quite possible that Kelly has realized that he prefers a more patriarchal role within a football organization, which would heighten his interest in the Texas job.
2. Top Of The Food Chain
If a college town is an ecosystem, then the head football coach is the male lion, the king of the pride. The power and respect that Chip Kelly would command at the University of Texas would dwarf the social standing of any NFL head coach. And if Chip Kelly were to lead the Longhorns to a BCS National Championship, his name would be spoken in reverent tones across the State of Texas. This level of prestige would intrigue even the humblest person.
1. Saban Did It
Nick Saban left the Miami Dolphins after less than two full years with the franchise. He departed soon after making several public statements in the preceding weeks assuring the local fan base that he fully intended to stay on as coach. Almost ten years later, Dolphins fans still refer to Nick Saban as "Nick Satan", “Tricky Nicky” and “Benedict Saban”.
During the season, coaches are quick to refute speculation that they are entertaining offers from other teams. They are constantly working to minimize team distractions and keep their players focused on the upcoming opponent. In this context, Chip Kelly’s recent dismissal of his candidacy for the University of Texas head coach position is dubious.
Furthermore, the loathsome anger directed at Saban from Miami fans would feel like a cordial objection when compared to how loyal Eagles fans would react to Kelly taking the Longhorns gig. With the team surging towards a playoff run, it might register on Richter scale.