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Is Chip Kelly a better fit in Texas? NFL Unfiltered Week 15

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Now that the University of Texas has a head coaching vacancy, Eagles fans ought to pay close attention. 

ESPN NFL insider Chris Mortensen suggested Chip Kelly is on Texas’ wish list, which isn’t really newsworthy since every good football coach except Alabama’s Nick Saban, is a candidate. 

 Still, it’s disconcerting for Eagles fans because Texas is one of the most coveted coaching jobs in the country. It is like coaching the Dallas Cowboys without a meddlesome owner or salary cap.     photo: Oregonlive.com

Dozens of coaches—both college and professional—are getting pay raises and contract extensions because their employers know the allure of Texas.  It is simply a better job than head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. 

And if Texas offers more money, it isn’t even close.  

It is the kind of job every coach (even those in the first year of a contract), must consider. If you disagree with that assertion, it is likely because you believe professional football is the holy grail for all coaches. It is not. Some, like Kelly, are better suited to college. 

That is not to suggest it is impossible to succeed on both levels. Jim Harbaugh proves that and Kelly might also- if he stays long enough. But there are distinct differences between coaching in college and in the pros, particularly at Texas.   

Professional football is perfect for men whose self-worth is defined by leading the best. Men whose career paths lead them to the pros. But there are plenty of things to dislike about coaching at the highest level. The media responsibilities are tiring and your roster always includes players you do not want and cannot get rid of.  

Conversely, the head coach at Texas recruits in the most fertile high school football ground in the nation. Consider, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Johnny Manziel all played their high school football in the state of Texas.  The fact they chose Stanford, Baylor and Texas A&M respectively, is inexcusable and downright embarrassing for anyone associated with Texas recruiting.  

However, this is not about former head coach Mack Brown’s failures, it is about the fact that Texas is an incredible job. That is not meant to denigrate the Eagles, this city or owner Jeffrey Lurie.  But if the decision makers at Texas are seriously interested in Kelly—and that is a big if since Mortensen doesn’t break news as he once did—he has to consider it. 

Certainly, every job has its challenges, and Texas is no different. The pressure to win is immense and recruiting is still a chore. But there is plenty of money in Austin awaiting the next coach- perhaps as much as $8-million annually.  

If it becomes about money, will Lurie increase Kelly’s salary after one year?  The smart bet is no. Kelly is having a fine first season with the Eagles, but he is strictly an independent contractor.    

And I believe, a college coach at heart.  



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THINGS THE PUNDITS CAN’T OR WON’T SAY: Week 15

 

-Strange offensive performance by the Eagles against the Vikings. If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear all it takes for defenses to stifle them is defensive discipline.  

 

-The Chicago Bears have to decide whether to sign quarterback Jay Cutler to a long-term contract.  But make no mistake, he is the same player he was three years ago.  

 

-Because of the magnitude of the biggest moments in a game, we confuse the terms clutch and great. Tony Romo is a terrific quarterback, but makes mistakes at important moments.  Eli Manning is clutch, but isn’t nearly as good as Romo.

 

-San Francisco 49ers rookie safety Eric Reid made a supremely intelligent and unselfish play by falling to the ground after intercepting Tampa Bay quarterback Mike Glennon.  That play alone ought to make him the NFL’s defensive Rookie of The Year.  

-The Washington Redskins ought to consider trading quarterback Robert Griffin III.  They might sucker Jacksonville or Tennessee into giving up a couple of high draft choices.

-Quarterbacks Kirk Cousins, Matt Flynn and Josh McCown are going to make good money next season, but they are all still only backups.   

-My opinion of quarterback Andy Dalton is well documented, but their offensive identity remains a mystery. That’s on coordinator Jay Gruden. 

-Jim Harbaugh is a football junkie, so he may very well coach some non-descript FBS school before he retires. But unlike Chip Kelly, Harbaugh is a pro coach. You can feel it when he mans a podium. 


-Ravens kicker Justin Tucker’s game-winning 61-yard field goal means John Harbaugh won’t have to answer questions about his Mike Tomlin-like clock management the last 90 seconds.  

 

 Earl Myers is a freelance writer from the Philadelphia area. He closely follows North America's four major sports leagues but just about any sporting event gets his attention. His goal is to provoke a little thought in his readers.

 

Contact Earl at emyersiii@gmail.com  and follow him on Twitter @EMyersIII

 

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Article photo: Oregonlive.com