Will Chip Kelly head to Titans, reunite with Marcus Mariota?
By Larry Brown
Chip Kelly may have been fired by the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday, but he will have no shortage of suitors in the future.
Plenty of NFL and college teams will be lusting after the now unemployed head coach. One potential landing spot stands out more than any other, though: the Tennessee Titans. Tennessee seems like a natural fit for Kelly for multiple reasons.
For one, Tennessee has been in a downward spiral since 2008, their last time in the postseason. They’ve had a losing record for four straight seasons, went 2-14 last year and are 2-13 this season. The bar is low and nobody would be better to help turn them around than Kelly, who proved he could win in the NFL by going 10-6 in his first two seasons.
Two, the Titans have the quarterback Kelly wanted all along: Marcus Mariota. Kelly recruited Mariota to Oregon and coached the former Heisman Trophy winner for a season before moving to the NFL. Everyone thought Kelly was trying hard to trade up with Tennessee to get Mariota in the draft, he just refused to pay the high price the Titans were asking for in return. He couldn’t bring Mariota to Philly, but now he has a chance to join the quarterback.
Three, the Titans already have a vacancy. There is no messy situation here. There’s no worry about keeping a respected head coach or someone who was successful. They fired Ken Whisenhunt midseason and have not fared any better under interim coach Mike Mularkey. The Titans will have nothing holding them back and stopping them from reaching out to Kelly.
The key for Tennessee, if they decide to pursue Kelly, would be to refuse to give him control of team personnel. Kelly failed as a GM but succeeded as a coach. Make him work with someone else when it comes to drafting, releasing, signing and trading players and let him coach the team and you should see big results.
Kelly reuniting with Mariota in Tennessee would be something to fear for the rest of the league. Other NFL teams that potentially could have interest in the coach could include the Colts, Browns and Dolphins.
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