Did Chip Kelly make the right decision to return to the Oregon Ducks to make another run at a national championship? Our Pac-12 roundtable debates.
Jack Blanchat - Rule of Tree: I think yes. He'll be a hot name on the NFL coaching carousel for years to come, so why not go back to your BCS-title caliber team until you find the right NFL spot to go to? Anybody thinking he burned all his NFL bridges this year is wrong.
Jack Follman - Pacific Takes: Hard to say as I don't know exactly what is goals are and what actually happened but he definitely made the safe decision. Other than the looming potential sanctions which probably won't be addressed until Kelly is retired, there is nothing stopping Kelly from collecting a massive paycheck and competing for national championships in Eugene. At the same time though, I think other than getting a national championship to round things out, there really isn't much Kelly has left to do in college football and it would be interesting to see him try his scheme and philosophy in the NFL as we all know it works in college football at this point.
Andy Wooldridge - Building The Dam: Definitely. There is no reason for Kelly to make a change that isn't a clear upgrade, and the possibilities presented weren't that. Cleveland (and Buffalo) are places a Hall of Fame career can go to die, and Philadelphia ran off some of the best players they have ever had, then fired the best coach they have ever had. Anything less than a Super Bowl win would lead to calls for his head. In Eugene, he can contend for Pac-12 titles and BCS bowl/playoff bids indefinitely, with the chance of a National Championship a reasonable goal. And he can do that with a better owner than than the recent NFL options offered. He can wait for a better NFL opportunity to come down the pike, from some place like New England when the current coach retires.
Michael Preston - CougCenter: As Blanchat said, Kelly can sit back and wait for the right opportunity to come to him. NFL pontificators proclaiming Kelly's inability to work in the professional ranks because he hasn't taken a job there are flat wrong. Besides, until he gets a national championship under his belt and gets bored in Eugene, he has arguably the cushiest job in college football. Facilities those pro teams he was interviewing with would be jealous of, a nice pay day every two weeks and an entire fan base that, if Kelly told them to jump they'd ask "How high?" Why would you leave that for anything other than the best situation possible?
Sean Reynolds - Block U: Yeah, I think so. Why risk everything when you're absolutely set at your current job? While the ceiling might be higher with a transition to the NFL, the chance of failing is also higher ... so, not only was it the safe decision, but the smart one too.
PacHoops & Pacific Takes: I don't know what happened behind closed doors but my impression is that Chip Kelly holds his own NFL cards and will leave when he knows there will be a situation that is fail-proof. I can't imagine he was spurned or overlooked by the NFL but the two questions that come up for me are: 1) What is his relationship with Mark Helfrich like now? 2) How many years in a row is he going to drag the Ducks through a will-he-won't-he RomCom-esque dating saga? If the answer to question one is bad. Fix it. If the answer to number two is annually, look for Duck burnout.,
Nick Kranz, California Golden Blogs: Well, I suppose that ultimately depends on what his goals are. I will say that I think it's significantly more likely that he'll maintain the level of success he's seen at Oregon than reach a comparable level of success in the NFL. That's not to say that I don't think he would do well as an NFL head coach, but Oregon was built for him (and by him) and the NFL is a different animal.
There's very little left for him to ‘prove' at the college level, but as long as he's interested in those few last achievements, then more power to him for sticking around.