Chip Kelly Could Make Shocking NFL Comeback

The former NFL and current UCLA head coach is starting to come up in discussions as an offensive coordinator.
Nov 4, 2023; Tucson, Arizona, USA; UCLA Bruins head coach Chip Kelly on the sidelines
Nov 4, 2023; Tucson, Arizona, USA; UCLA Bruins head coach Chip Kelly on the sidelines / Zachary BonDurant-USA TODAY Sports

The last time we saw UCLA Bruins head coach Chip Kelly on an NFL sideline was in 2016 with the San Francisco 49ers. Eagles fans vividly remember the Kelly era, which started with a bang in 2013. But it quickly flamed out, and he got one more shot with the 49ers.

Since then, Kelly has been the head coach of the Bruins for the last six years. However, there’s a possibility that we could see the former Eagles head coach back on an NFL sideline sooner rather than later.

Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports reported Sunday that the UCLA head coach has been mentioned as a potential offensive coordinator by multiple head-coaching candidates. He also adds that multiple teams have started their due diligence.

Kelly has been solid at UCLA, posting a 35-34 record with two bowl appearances. There were discussions surrounding the 60-year-old head coach’s job security this season after the Bruins lost three out of their last four games in the regular season.

But it appears he’ll still be with the Bruins heading into next season after leading them to a 35-22 bowl win over Boise State.

It’s not surprising to see NFL teams kicking the tires again on Kelly, who brought his innovative offensive style from the University of Oregon to the NFL in 2013. 

However, the league caught up to Kelly and his RPO/spread offense as his success quickly dwindled with the Eagles and 49ers. For Kelly to take an offensive coordinator position, the team and pay would have to wow him to leave a head coaching gig at a Power 5 school.

Only two NFL teams have named head coaches: the Las Vegas Raiders (Antonio Pierce) and New England Patriots (Jerod Mayo). However, several head coaching and offensive coordinator vacancies are yet to be figured out. It will be interesting to see if any teams bring Kelly in for an interview over the next few weeks.

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