Since Chip Kelly went to the Eagles last week – after he had already decided to stay put at Oregon – the Browns have been in PR damage control, doing everything in their power to not look so spurned, like a jilted prom date.
In this week’s Monday Morning Quarterback, CEO Joe Banner said that Kelly was simply “too big a gamble,” citing his near-commitment to the Buccaneers last season before going back to Oregon.
“We removed ourselves from the process. We really liked Chip. He’s intriguing, a very different thinker, and very smart. But you could see he was uncertain what he wanted to do,” Banner said. “He may be in Philadelphia 10 years or longer and have a terrific career. But the fact he committed to Tampa Bay last year, backed out, then seemed all year to be leaning toward going to the NFL, then being so uncertain with us, we just felt it was too big a gamble. If there was no ambivalence, we may have offered him the job.”
It’s pretty hard to buy that, considering how invested the Browns seemed in hiring Kelly right from the start. And, if you choose to believe those infamous “sources,” the Browns actually seemed pretty close to landing him.
But they didn’t and that’s that. The Browns should be looking forward with Rob Chudzinski rather than making it look like they walked away from Kelly. It doesn’t matter anymore.