Why didn't Kelly want to coach Browns?

January, 16, 2013
1/16/13
2:15
PM ET
It was only 11 days ago when it looked like Chip Kelly was going to be the next coach of the Browns. Now, he's going to be coaching the Eagles after changing his mind once again.

Jones
Kelly
So, why were the Eagles able to get the hottest name in coaching and the Browns weren't?

No one will ever know for sure. Maybe the Browns weren't patient enough with him or didn't promise him enough. Maybe Kelly wasn't interested in the Browns and just used the team as a bargaining chip.

Or maybe the organizational structure, where chief executive officer Joe Banner has the final say in football matters, didn't suit Kelly. There was a report last week that talks broke down with Ken Whisenhunt because the front office wanted input on staff issues. Kelly is expected to have total control with the Eagles.

As I wrote last month, losing out on Kelly makes the Browns look bad because they obviously targeted Kelly and failed to seal the deal. It doesn't make the Browns look any better today when the Eagles were able to convince Kelly to coach there.

The Browns eventually hired Rob Chudzinski, and there's no question that he wants to be here. No one could ever say that with confidence if the Browns hired Kelly, especially with his history of indecision. Even when Kelly was considered the Browns' top choice, I was skeptical of Kelly because he has no NFL experience. Hiring Kelly is a major gamble.

Still, you have to wonder whether the Browns got lucky that they missed out on Kelly or did the Browns miss out on the next offensive genius in the NFL? As Banner likes to say, time will tell.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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