According to numerous reports that surfaced last night, the Eagles interviewed Brian Kelly on Tuesday, a day after his Notre Dame squad was rolled by Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game, and continue to have interest in the 51-year-old coach, who is said to now be out of the country. But a Tweet from Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel hints at the likely reason for Kelly’s interest:
A Notre Dame source tells me that the expected result of Kelly's NFL flirtation is a raise and an extension.
— Pete Thamel(@SIPeteThamel) January 10, 2013
Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman are like that girl you call when you want to make your ex jealous and get her to take you back.
Hello there, you. I’ve been waiting for you to call. [Growl]
Hey, um, Sue… remember that crush you used to have on me and how you would sit at my desk like a fucking lunatic stalker and show me pictures of those scarves you knitted for wayward cats? I miss that. Can we fuck so my ex will suddenly find me hot again?
That’s what college coaches across the land are doing to the Eagles. They’re calling Sue.
Chip Kelly got himself a substantial raise (courtesy of Oregon alum and booster, and Nike co-founder, Phil Knight) after he turned down the Eagles and Browns. [Bill O’Brien has denied that he received a $1.3 million raise when he decided to return to Penn State.] Now it seems that the other Kelly, this of the Brian variety, may get himself an extra mil, or 10, just for batting his eyes at the increasingly pathetic Lurie and Roseman, the Kate and Leo of the NFL, who have, for the time being, cinched themselves to the top of the sinking ship, but eventually may wind up clinging to a bobbing door, at which time Lurie will slowly let go of Roseman as he fades into the deep, dark sea of shamed Eagles execs.
Anyway, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk agrees with that macabre thinking:
From Chip Kelly to Bill O’Brien to Jim Mora to, perhaps now, Brian Kelly, the script is becoming clear. Flirt with the NFL, rattle your current employer, and sit back and wait for the concessions to come.
In Brian Kelly’s case, there has been zero discretion. Within minutes, multiple reporters knew that he’d met with the Eagles. From FOX’s Jay Glazer to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer to Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com to possibly even others who I’m forgetting or don’t particularly feel like mentioning because, yeah, I’m that guy sometimes. (Or more often than that.)
And so it’s no surprise that Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated writes that “[a] Notre Dame source tells me that the expected result of Kelly’s NFL flirtation is a raise and an extension.”
Of course it is. It’s the expected result because it was and is the intended result.
Unfortunately, everyone except the three folks who are searching for the next Eagles coach realize that. Which means that, eventually, they may have to bite the bullet and call Jon Gruden.
Well said, Florio.
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! disagrees:
You could argue this is a classic power play to use NFL interest – real or rumored – into a lucrative contract extension. Notre Dame is the king of those sucker jobs, having once handed Charlie Weis a ten-year deal just because gossip spread that an NFL team might want to talk to him at the end of the season.
The thing is that Kelly was already going to get paid. He was already in the perfect position. He restored Notre Dame, bringing joy to one of the wealthiest alumni bases in major college football. He'd earned his raise.
No, the interest in the NFL is real. It's always been real, the ultimate spot for an upwardly mobile coach.
We shall see.