A year ago, Oregon coach Chip Kelly was supposedly signed, sealed and delivered to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A last-second change of heart kept him in Eugene.
This year he flirted with not one, but two NFL franchises, the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns, while basking in the glow of his team's Fiesta Bowl win over Kansas State. Once again, it appears Kelly will be back on the Ducks' sidelines in the fall.
Kelly's decision will leave football junkies wondering if his warp-speed style of spread offense, the Blur, could work at the highest level of competition. With the success teams like Washington and Seattle have had incorporating the Pistol and aspects of the zone-read option into their playbooks this season, it makes sense that the next step would be something even more exotic. (And just imagine Brandon Weeden in Kelly's offense – yowza.)
Apparently, Kelly's interest in setting out for pro pastures had prompted Oregon to go so far as to set up a succession plan with offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich taking charge. Considering the NCAA bloodhounds are sniffing around his program, it does make Kelly's return that much more surprising.
After playing footsie with the big leagues once again, it raises the question of whether or not he'll be up for NFL jobs in the foreseeable future – assuming he's even interested, of course. For now, Duck fans can rest easy that Kelly will keep running the show.
And their coach will likely rest easy on an even bigger pile of Phil Knight's moolah.