Sunday, January 6, 2013
Pressure on Browns to get Chip Kelly
By Jamison Hensley
The pressure is on Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and chief executive officer Joe Banner to get Oregon's Chip Kelly because their other viable options are gone.
Barring a run by the Browns at Nick Saban or Jon Gruden, there's no other candidate than Kelly who will create a buzz among the Cleveland football fan base. The Browns and Eagles are currently competing for Kelly.
The Browns' fallback option was Syracuse's Doug Marrone, who was interviewed a second time by the Browns while the Eagles were talking to Kelly. But Marrone was hired by the Bills on Sunday morning, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
This has become a trend for Cleveland. When the Browns first began their search early last week, their No. 2 choice to Kelly was Penn State's Bill O'Brien, who interviewed for the job. But O'Brien decided last week that he was staying at Penn State. Another head-coaching candidate for the Browns, Falcons offensive coordinator Dick Koetter, also withdrew his name from consideration.
Now, if the Browns are unable to get Kelly, it's unknown who is next on this shortening wish list. The other candidates interviewed by the Browns include former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt and Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton.
The latest on Kelly is that he remains unsigned after a nine-hour meeting with the Eagles on Saturday. Losing Kelly would be a crushing blow to the Browns' new regime, who would have to move on to its fourth or fifth choice on its list.