Report: Brian Kelly Interviewed by Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles Interview
Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly leads his team including players Zack Martin (70) and Manti Te’o (5) to the field for the second half of the 2013 BCS Championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

As soon as Black Monday came and passed in the NFL two weeks ago we wrote that Brian Kelly and the NFL speculation was inevitable. Well, the inevitable appears to have come to reality on Wednesday with reports from multiple media outlets that Brian Kelly met with the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday, a day after the BCS Championship.

Before everyone freaks out, the Eagles have already met with two other college head coaches who have said thanks, but no thanks – Oregon’s Chip Kelly and Penn State’s Bill O’Brien and this could very well be Brian Kelly drumming up interest to help get a new contract with Notre Dame on the heels of the best Irish season in 20 years.

A report like this can also be used positively for Notre Dame and Kelly in recruiting should Kelly follow Chip Kelly and Bill O’Brien’s lead and politely turn down the Eagles.  A little of the luster from Notre Dame’s season wore off on Monday night in Miami with the resounding loss to Alabama.  Having NFL teams interested in your head coach though can be used in your favor.

What will be very important here is how long it takes for Kelly to be reached for comment.  Kelly is currently out of the country on vacation, but that shouldn’t necessarily prevent him from issuing a statement that he is not interested and will remain the head coach of the Fighting Irish if those are indeed his intentions.

Had Notre Dame won on Monday night I would be much more concerned about this, but if you listened to what Kelly had to say when the NFL questions came up at media day, he kept saying that every opportunity had to be evaluated based on “the time and place.”  Would leaving for the NFL on the heels of a resounding loss in the BCS Championship game be the right time and place?

In fact, NBC’s Keith Arnold is already reporting that according to one NFL source, this is standard negotiating practice.

And ditto for SI’s Pete Thamel

And now Rueben Frank, one of the best beat writers covering the Eagles in the Philadelphia area.

And to add some more context here.  As reported by Rob Maaddi, Kelly reportedly met with the Eagles on Tuesday and then later that day announced that they were brining in Lovie Smith for an interview on Thursday (side note as an Eagles fan I was already pulling for Lovie, but even moreso now).  Now, if there is legit mutual interest here the Eagles could be using this as leverage of their own, but it could also mean they let their meeting not feeling all that optimistic towards Kelly’s interest.

Hopefully this all does in fact end with a big contract extension for Kelly at Notre Dame, but the longer it lingers the worse it will be for Notre Dame.  Stories like this can be used as a positive if the coach stays, but if this drags out and there is legit interest from Kelly, opposing coaches are going to have a field day with this on the recruiting trail.

Obviously, more to follow as this one develops.


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  1. A friend of mine from my gym told me Kelly was being interviewed by the eGALS. (I’m a New Englander still disgusted with Philly fans = LOSAS!) He has taken what Weis started and built a success. But Philly would be stupid to hope for this type of success at the pro-level. Lou Holtz was a good success coaching college football. Lou Holtz was disastrous as a pro-coach. I have the same inclinations about BK.

  2. If and when Brian Kelly leaves Notre Dame I wish him well. He has ND at a level we haven’t seen in decades. Brian Kelly and Charlie Weiss put ND back on the map and I will be forever grateful. GO IRISH !!!

  3. if Kelly leaves, all is lost, to much talent coming to Notre Dame, we cant have this again at Notre Dame, the players are coming and Brian Kelly knows this, its just about money. To be the best is what Brian Kelly wants , the money now, to bring us back and make us a better University, thats all it is.

  4. Did most of you forget this is a business. I have no problems with him interviewing and or leaving for phillly. He was offered a job at ND, accepted was paid a good salary and performed well in his duties. Brian Kelly owes neither ND nor the kids being recruited anything, and nothing is owed to Kelly. People love to paint recruited HS kids with this brush of innocence as if their lives are crushed. Kids change schools after making multiple commitments on a regular basis. They will survive and choose to stay or go to another school. And you know what happens…nothing the world keeps turning and college football will return with a new cast of players.

  5. Anzalone de-commits. That is fine I knew he would be the first to jump ship. I wish him well at Florida. I also read a report that ND is in negotiations to raise the salaries of BK’s assistants, so I don’t think BK is going anywhere. I also don’t think anyone wants that Philly job with the expectations and the roster right now.

  6. Say BYE BYE to Alex Anzalone has he has notified ND that he is enrolling at University of Florida this weekend and not Notre Dame.

    I dont blame him at all for doing this…Brian Kelly was always one to say, ” if your looking, were looking ” and now its come back to haunt him…Kelly was looking and Anzalone decided to look at well and now its come back to bit us in the butt.

  7. I will put it this way. BK did one thing for me, he showed me that the right coach can recruit and win at ND. I think he is not a pro coach and would be a mess in Philly. Philly would chew him up and spit him out, especially if he didn’t win. He would have to adopt a pro-style offense the spread doesn’t work in the pro’s, just ask RG III how his knees feel. You can have elements of the spread in the pro’s but not the offense he runs. Also, he should speak with Lou about the pro’s and how his stint went. The only college coaches I have seen that have done well in the pro’s have run a pro-style offense with a pro-style defense. ND runs a gap control 3-4 no blitzing and no man to man. Diaco’s defense in the pro’s would have issues because you need to be able to get to the QB and not by just having superior talent but by scheme. The only coordinator that I feel was great in the pro’s from college was Jim Johnson.

    Now I don’t want BK to go and if he does so be it. I would thank him for his service and the talent he has brought to ND. I would hope that the AD would find a coach that would take the program onto the next step, unfortunately I have no idea who that is. Urban, Stoops, Saban or any other elite college coach isn’t coming.

  8. “Jack, I’d like to sit down and talk about some things, mainly looking at making some revisions/adjustments in staff salaries. I want to keep my staff intact and continue continuity of coaches. Granted we lost the other night but we did go 12-0 during our regular season. I am aware there are or will be offers out there for some of the coaching staff. I want them to feel valued as do I. Can we look at some numbers to make it work.”

    or this

    Thought to myself (as Brian Kelly)-“Hey why don’t I let it be known I’m going to interview for a NFL job. I got to leverage these guys here at ND>”

    Life “politics” are about perception, not what may really be happening. Whether BK has a true interest in NFL or is looking to improve his & his staff salaries (and I’m not saying that is an unreasonable request), how he may be choosing that route is my issue. There are ways and there are better ways to get this done. To get your ass kicked and the next day to have an appearance of possibly looking for a diffferent job doesn’t look good for ND, the recruits coming in, the fanbase, and even for BK & his staff. Again, remeber the circumstances as to how and WHEN he left Cincy to come here. I think he is a proper coach (I’m not sure I would use the term “the right one”) for ND. I’m not calling for his head, but, he does seem to be somewhat of a “me guy.” I guess we’ll see what happens.

    Irish Fans United

  9. @bj – I could care less about screaming at the players as I’m tired of the “everyone gets a trophy” sensitivities. It’s football, get over it.

    But you’re onto something with the loyalty. If Kelly wants to go down in football history, that’s something you CAN do at Notre Dame. If you want to get lost in the NFL and make more money, that is something you can do with any NFL team, and few coaches do that while more go down as failures, and the Eagles suck, and like someone else stated, you don’t play Navy, Purdue, and Boston College in the NFL… Andy Reid is a great, GREAT football coach, but in the NFL they only care about winning Super Bowls. If you don’t win, you’re out. At Notre Dame, a BCS Bowl and you can stay forever.

    Lovie Smith is another example, 10 wins – NOT ENOUGH. Give me a break.

  10. Times have changed. I don’t think BK looking to up his salary is really about loyalty. I think he has every intention of staying and making ND stay relevant. This is more about getting the best possible contract. Really, I have to admit, he would be a fool not too. It’s just the times we live in. Back in the 70’s on back, a contract was a contract, no one asked for raises while there was a contract. That bus is gone, long gone. I don’t blame BK for doing the same thing.

    As long as ND is relevant, continues to graduate almost all it’s players (something we should all be proud of) and demand a higher level or responsibility from it’s players, I don’t really care if BK wants to ask for a pay increase.

    bj: Kelly has shown an ability to adapt, you saw a much cooler, more collected Kelly this year than last (well except maybe against officials during bad calls, but I’m with him there). And some people seem to forget Holts grabbing players by the face mask and screaming at them. He was not always the warm and fuzzy Dr Lou we see today :).

  11. its simple, in my lifetime being a part of the notre dame community was a sacred thing, class of 70 i am, parsaeghian, page, obrien, blier, schoen,
    durANKO, LYNCH, these were inspirationAL MEN, I HAVE BEEN UNCOMFORTABLE WITH KELLY, THE SCREAMIN AT THE PLAYERS IN THE FIRST TWQ YEARS, THE INSULTS TO PLAYERS IN THE MEDIA, THE INSANE Marketing and hype, i caN NEVER IMAgine, holtz or parseghian talking to any other team, especially without the permission of father jenkins,or telling the players, its called loyalty, you can only screw with our lady a bit and then it becomes sacrilege, money
    isnt the holy grail, its closer to the grotto. i am so grateful for the only real winning season in two decades, but i judge a mAn by his loyAlty, i am critical but never disloyal. kelly should be looking into his soul at his performance in the bcs, not michael vick’s old team’s checkbook. fighting irish. bj

  12. I know about business.
    I’m wondering about Loyalty the world over.
    I just wonder.
    Tactics or not, Pr or not, football or not, does loyalty exist.
    Love BK.
    Will he stay?

    1. I have always considered Brian Kelly a pretty smart Guy.

      Between now and Staurday, Jan 12th. Coaches are still not allowed to talk to recruits.

      Perhaps he is using the media and this interview to keep his name in the press and spin a positive.

      “Yes, his team lost the National Championship game, but how bad can it be when the NFL comes calling”

      We have all seen names like Chip Kelly, Les Miles, Nick Saban, Urban Meyers, and others tossed around in the NFL hiring circles.

      Having his name out there at this particular time, and associated with the NFL might actually prove to be beneficial should he soon announce that he is staying at ND.

      I think we should know soon enough as the all out recruiting war commences this Saturday!

  13. I am not sure on this, but one thing I read somewhere is that Head Caoches may at times use part of their compensation to up the pay of assistants. Perhaps Kelly gets more money and uses it to keep his assistants for a while longer. Given his controlling nature, I can see him wanting to put that in place. You really do want this staff to stick around for a while, not just BK.

  14. BK definately deserves a raise. ND asked BK to duplicate what he did at Cincy! Presto! 12-0! Results talk, get out the check book and pay the man ND! Look how many times Urban Renewal aquired a raise or new job playing the “ND dream job” card! Good or Bad, the negotiation game is all part of the process. BK deserves all he can get. Don’t anyone on this board tell me he is not a better coach than CW. Unfortunately, CW was a costly mistake. It definately throws a wrench into the negotiations when a guy can afford a 100,000 – 64 oz Cokes a day for the rest of his life.

    Relax guys! Swarbrick will get it done!

  15. Thanks Frank for the story. My first reaction was panic, but reading your story this is obviously not uncommon. Hopefully this is shot down by BK in quick order.

    Getting ND to an NC game in a year we were predicted to go to a toilet bowl deserves some acknowledgment. Another poster noted in reality they overachieved this year. BK has them on the right track, he has the ability to learn from his mistakes and adapt, he is recruiting exactly what we need (i.e. size) and he has looked at the SEC style of play and decided that’s what ND needs to win championships.

    I wouldn’t give him a 10 year extension and make the same mistake they did with Weis, but I wouldn’t take issue with a raise.

    People here need to relax a bit. This is a business and Kelly isn’t doing anything most other coaches haven’t done.

    1. Nice post. I agree 100%. Keep Calm everyone. This is normal, and when BK does sign that extension get used to this, because this won’t be the last time we start hearing NFL rumors.

  16. The only person we would want to run out of Chi-raq faster than Mayor Rahm-en Noodles is Lovie Smith. He is the Tyrone Willingham of the NFL, if you are a Philly fan this is not your man.

  17. Kelly has to do whatever is best for him and his family. Personally I love Kelly n his coaching style n feel he is exactly what Notre Dame needs n always needed. The name of the game is leverage n that’s what we all work hard for everyday n just be glad that Notre dame is doing well enough for him to have that.

  18. I would hope going to ND for a recruit is bigger than playing for Brian Kelly.

    If not, good riddance, to both recruit and Kelly.

    1. majority of recruits have already posted on their twitter accounts that they didn’t choose ND for 1 person, they chose it because it’s ND and they want to be apart of the school.

  19. I also just should say that hearing the way some of you talk about him, maybe he should leave. You guys are talking about him as if he just led us to a 3-9 season while bringing in one of the worst recruiting classes in the country. But wait, pretty sure we just went 12-1, and finished more highly ranked than we have in damned near 2 decades.


      1. I saw something that he was the 20th highest paid coach, assume he’s trying to crack top 10. Which I’m fine with. Chip Kelly did the same thing as did Les Miles.

        Keep in mind that this is what sports media does. They will hype this up, talk about how good of a fit there is with nfl and that there is mutual interest. An example of how much these guys ACTUALLY know: initial report said Kelly was out of the country and talks would resume then. Problem is this morning it turns out that he’s not out of the country and supposedly he’s in Florida with family. Tomorrow he might be in Portugal! Just take a deep breath everybody this is standard practice. Interview-leak it-start hysteria-sign big fat contract.

  20. I find this very disappointing. I think it tells us a little about the character of Brian Kelly. He has his interests on himself rather than for the team. If I was on the team or a new recruit, I would have some doubts as to whether or not I would want to be a part of his team. Why put them through this? They need strong leadership now, not uncertainty.

  21. Granted this may be an employment ploy to etch out more money but c’mon Brian, even with the drubbing from the other night, are you that insecure you can’t discuss money with Swarbrick w/o resorting to this (if it is a ploy). Let alone with early enrollees coming on board, your timing is impeccable. Hey, let’s face it, BK has always been a “me guy” first. Look how he left Cincy to come here to ND.

    1. Amen storespook,

      Not to mention, the story is rapidly changing! NBC sports is now reporting BK will definately meet with the Eagles for a second time soon. Not good! I smell real money here.

      Ok, Frank, did you line-up this second meeting? Your the guy who stands to gain either way! Hahahaha! Damn Eagles fan!

  22. i guess kelly’s ego needs some feeding after that humiliating defeat, did the team knew he was thinking of selling them out before the bcs game?, what a machiavellian, this guy makes me sick. jerks the school and the team around, for his own greed.

    1. Just three weeks ago you were apologizing for being wrong about the team, the players, the AD, and the coaches.

      Face it… you have never been right about anything!

      I take that back, you are right when it comes to being a giant strawberry douche!

      I case you haven’t noticed this is still America…
      Where people have freedoms and rights.

  23. Note to Brian Kelly: Swarbrick is a smatter AD than Kevin White. Hopefully President Jenkins and the board of regents learned from the mistake they made when Charlie Weis was the head coach. Irish fans know about the mistake.

  24. Urban Meyer, you must be joking. If there were one thing that could make me vomit on the grotto, that would be the thing.

  25. Shortly before national signing day? How about 2 days before the early enrollees are set to step on campus?

      1. Didn’t BK say that he instructed his agent not to tell him about any NFL interviews until after championship game? Hours later he’s being interviewed by the Eagles out of the blue? Sounds like BK has integrity issues.

  26. Whether he leaves or not, shame on Brian Kelly for doing this shortly before national signing day! Just great!!!

  27. My candidates to replace Kelly (if he does leave) in order:

    1. Urban Meyer
    2. Chris Petersen
    3. Tom Clements

    1. Why do some ND people still think Urban is going to come? Ridiculous…he’s not leaving a 12-0 OSU team, just not happening.

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