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Chip Kelly aims to end rumors about college jobs

PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles coach Chip Kelly tried on Thursday to silence the speculation that he will be a candidate for coaching jobs at USC or Texas.

"I understand that it's going to happen [when] we're not successful and we're not winning."

Kelly went on to paraphrase those who think he would jump at a return to college if the Eagles' struggles continue.

"'I came from college. I'm going to go back to college,'" he said of that narrative.

Kelly said he had not heard from USC, which fired coach Steve Sarkisian this week after first asking him to take a leave of absence to seek treatment for alcohol abuse.

"I hope someday to be like Coach [Tom] Coughlin and win enough games where I stay around long enough where that speculation ends."

Chip Kelly

Since coming to Philadelphia from Oregon in 2013, Kelly has been the subject of annual rumors about various college coaching jobs, including speculation about the Longhorns job because of Charlie Strong's struggles. Kelly's name was also linked this week with the Maryland job after Randy Edsall's firing.

"I hope someday to be like Coach [Tom] Coughlin and win enough games where I can stay around long enough where that speculation ends," Kelly said. "But I understand you have to ask the question. I answered it the same way a year ago. I answered it the same way my first year here."

Coughlin, the New York Giants' coach, came to the NFL from Boston College in 1995. After seven years coaching the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars, Coughlin was hired by the Giants in 2004. He has won two Super Bowls during his 11 seasons with the team.

Kelly has said in the past that he has nothing to do with the speculation. His agent, he said, does not seek attention from colleges.

"It's an unfortunate part of the game," Kelly said. "The other part of it is there are people who have lost their jobs. A friend of mine is Steve Sarkisian, who is dealing with a big issue right now. I wish him the best. That's how I look at that situation."

Kelly was asked whether he's concerned about the speculation becoming a distraction for his players, who are preparing for a Monday Night Football game against Coughlin's Giants this week.

"My players could care less about that," Kelly said. "Ask them, I guess. I don't think [center] Jason Kelce is really concerned because my name came up with a college. He's concerned with going against Steve Spagnuolo's defense, which is what's first and foremost on our team right now."