Since he entered the NFL coaching ranks, Chip Kelly has been compared to Bill Belichick in many instances. Recently, the talk has been that Kelly’s stint in Philadelphia has been akin to Belichick’s in Cleveland. Today, that narrative gained some steam, as Kelly was fired after a disappointing season on the heels of double digit wins in the previous one.
While Kelly’s stint in Philly was only 3 years as opposed to Belichick’s 5 seasons in LeBronland, it’s fair to wonder whether or not Kelly’s time with the Eagles will be a bump in the road en route to a much more successful career that Belichick has had.
And you know what would be the best move that Kelly could make to resemble Belichick? Working for Belichick in New England. Chip can probably land a job in Tennessee with Marcus Mariota or somewhere else, but when BB was fired in 1995, he served on Bill Parcells’ staff for a few years and learned ways to better his coaching. He didn’t go right to another team. Kelly is clearly a very smart football mind, but it’s also evident that he has to learn more about building a team. Chip Kelly the coach is smarter than Chip Kelly the GM now, and what better way to improve your abilities as a GM then spending time in the best front office of the salary cap era?
That being said, don’t get your hopes up. Kelly and Belichick are fond of each other, so I’m sure that BB would make the move, and I’m sure that Kelly would respect Bill’s authority if he was in the organization. Kelly’s time in Philadelphia has been marked with about as much spotlight and controversy as possible for a team with a pair of 10 win seasons and a disappointing 6 or 7 wins in the final year. And as you can tell from his sometimes condescending press conferences and radio interviews, Chip is a proud and cocky guy. He’ll be chomping at the bit to get right back to an NFL coaching sideline and shove it in the face of the Eagles and their fans.
The logical spot is Tennessee, and that’s my bet for where he goes. If you’re the owners of the Tennessee Titans who have inspired columns like this one in the past few months, wouldn’t you do whatever you can to bring in a head coach that’ll at least bring some relevance to your franchise and, if everything works out well, could change the narrative about your incredibly boring franchise entirely? Furthermore, even if Chip isn’t the answer for the long haul, if he can get the most possible growth out of Mariota, then he’s the right call for the Titans. Turning a potential franchise quarterback into an actual franchise quarterback is the only surefire way to make your team a perennial contender. Let Chip get the most out of Mariota, then let him go if he crashes and burns like in Philly.
Chip could also try to coach up Johnny Manziel, whom he tried to recruit to Oregon a few years back, wherever Manziel winds up in 2016, or he could get lucky and land the #1 coaching job on the market in Indianapolis when Chuck Pagano gets fired on Black Monday. But the smart money is on Tennessee, because Chip can coach the exact quarterback that he wants, and get away from the tough East Coast media in a place like Philly, who did Kelly no favors during his time with the Eagles. If Chip Kelly wants to be Bill Belichick as much as everyone says he does, though, he’d become a consultant in Bill Belichick’s thinktank of a front office, learn some more about building an NFL team, and come back with a vengeance like his buddy did in 2000 when he stomped on the Jets’ heart with a napkin.