UPDATEOregon coach Chip Kelly has turned down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after having a change of heart, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
“It’s a no go. His heart is still with Oregon,” Schefter was told.
It looked like a done deal last night.
KGW in Portland is reporting that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are close to hiring Oregon coach Chip Kelly.
If it’s true, it’d be an absolute bombshell for both the NFL and college football.
He’d be leaving behind an Oregon program that’s become one of college football’s best and most popular teams.
He’d also be the bringing his innovative, borderline-nutso spread offence to the NFL for the first time — which would be a must-watch experiment in and of itself.
UPDATE 8:55 p.m.:
It’s starting to look official. Rick Stroud of the St. Petersburg Times reports that Kelly is finalising a deal with the Bucs.
From Stroud, “Both Kelly and the Bucs are proceeding down a path that they mutually hope will result in an agreement in the next 24-48 hours.”
There’s a lot of conditionalizing in there, but it seems like this is probably going to happen.
A little background: Kelly helped cultivate the spread-option attack that has taken over college football when he was coaching for New Hampshire during the mid-90s and early-00s. He took over at Oregon in 2007, when he status as an offensive innovator went mainstream.
So get ready for a lot of wacky-looking offence in the NFL next year if this happens.