Latest Brian Kelly NFL Rumors Don’t Add Up

Brian Kelly NFL Rumors
Photo: © Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

ProFootballWeekly created some click bait a little buzz on Thursday with a post making it sound as if Brian Kelly was desperately trying to find any NFL team to offer him a head coaching job.  Sorry PFW and any Notre Dame fans still clinging to hope Kelly will not be the head coach in 2017, but the rumors just simply do not add up.  Everything that Kelly has done since the Notre Dame season was put out of its misery suggests he is doing all he can to turn things around at Notre Dame.

If you choose to believe the ProFootball Weekly “report”, it makes it sound like Kelly’s agents are begging the NFL to hire him.  Considering the moves Kelly has made and the current lack of openings in the NFL, it just doesn’t make sense.  So far, none of the Notre Dame beat writers have given this rumor even the slightest bit of credence.

Since the USC game ended, Kelly has made some difficult decisions that make it pretty clear that he is hell bent on turning thing around.  First there was the firing of special teams coordinator/tight ends Scott Booker.  Then there was the reassignment of Paul Longo – one of Kelly’s closest friends on staff.  Then Notre Dame brought in Mike Elko as defensive coordinator despite interest in Elko from both Oregon and Florida.  Notre Dame also managed to lure Brian Polian back to South Bend as special teams coordinator after Polian was let go by Nevada as their head coach.

So Kelly’s added one of the brightest up and coming defensive minds in college football to his staff.  Convinced a former head coach to take a special teams coordinator role.  And reassigned one of his closest friends and launched a national search for a new strength and conditioning coordinator.

Kelly has said multiple times since the season has ended that he has no interest in pursuing other options even though reports have popped up multiple times.  After reports surfaced hours after the season finale that Kelly was given permission to pursue other opportunities, he was quick to release a statement refuting the reports. “I have not been, am not, and will not be interested in options outside of Notre Dame. I’m fully committed to leading this program in the future,” Kelly said in the statement.

On the recruiting front, Notre Dame has been active with new offers for 2017 recruits as they attempt to close out a top 10 recruiting class.

None of that is characteristic of a coach who is just aching to leave town and begging a NFL franchise to make him an offer.

For better or worse, Brian Kelly will be back at Notre Dame in 2017 and the moves he’s made signify that he is serious about making the necessary changes needed to prevent another 2016-like season to ever happen again on his watch.

There is still a lot of work left for Kelly to do, but every indication this off-season is that Kelly is working overtime on overhauling his staff and bringing in quality coaches to replace those who have been forced to leave and those who have left on their own like Mike Sanford and maybe Denbrock (still no official word on whether or not he will take the Cincinnati OC job).

Brian Kelly NFL Rumors Aren’t New

Ever since Kelly flirted with the NFL following the BCS National Championship game by interviewing with the Philadelphia Eagles, Kelly has been linked to the NFL at various times.  Just this summer, however, Kelly said after exploring the NFL once before he had no desire to coach at the professional level.  That hasn’t stopped rumors from swirling that Kelly still wants to head to the NFL though – especially after the train wreck 2016 season.

Why Would the NFL Look to Kelly?

Aside from the unlikelihood of Kelly looking to the NFL, why would an NFL franchise look his way after the recent outcomes of college coaches turning pro?  Kelly hasn’t had a sniff from the NFL since the Eagles in January 2013 and since then, it’s not exactly like Kelly has enhanced his resume a whole hell of a lot.  Name the last time a coach was offered a promotion after a disastrous campaign like the one Kelly just experienced with Notre Dame.

When Chip Kelly left Oregon for the NFL the Ducks had just completed their third straight 12 win season.  Brian Kelly has had just one of those at Notre Dame.

Would Brian Kelly listen to the NFL if they called him?  Maybe.  Certainly a lucrative contract from the NFL might be enticing even though he’s said he isn’t interested in the NFL anymore – especially given his shaky ground at Notre Dame.  Does it make any sense that Brian Kelly would be begging the NFL for a job though as PFW’s report suggested?  Not even a little bit.

Obviously it’s worth watching here but none of this adds up or makes a whole lot of sense.

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  1. A week-and-a-half since the last comment, y’all pull your head your of your seats. BK is having trouble managing the Irish. NO FIRKIN’ WAY an NFL team is going to want him.

  2. Fire Kelly and swarbrick it’s all
    Become a sad pathetic public display of incompetence and acceptance of indifference

  3. I can’t recall a single quarterback who in my opinion got better under Kelly. I’m glad Kizer is gone and I hope he gets drafted by a team that won’t attempt to start him immediately. ND will never be better under than mediocre with Kelly because after a few years of getting yelled at, usually on TV, players just tend to tune him out.

  4. Frank,
    Before the MSU game you wrote that it could be a statement game for Coach Kelly. I wrote that it could be a watershed game, a defining game, for his tenure at ND. I think we both expected a win, Frank. But we lost, even worse than the final score indicated. I still think it was a watershed game.

    We were then 1-2 for the third time in seven years, and OUT of any chance to make the playoffs in 2016.
    Let me repeat for those of you who don’t grasp the significance of it… 1-2 after game three for the THIRD time. To translate some old latin “that act speaks for itself.”

    Yet he is back for an eighth season. So we have to hope that he rewrites ND’s book on great (or even good) coaches, has a ten win season that includes a win in a real bowl game, then marches on to win one or two national titles during the remainder of his contract. I would love to see it, of course. I’d love to be wrong in the end about my fears of how far we have fallen out there, on and off the field. I’d love to EAT CROW on all this for the rest of my life. But deep down inside, it just feels like a fool’s mission to try and save this chapter of ND history.

    The worst thing that could happen would be eight wins and a toilet bowl victory, or nine wins followed by the usual massacre in a New Year’s bowl of some sort. Can’t you just see it coming, though?

    Bruce G. Curme ’77 ’82

  5. I don’t buy into all of Frank’s optimism for BK’s change of strategy. Yes, I’m happy he’s going outside his comfort zone with his recent staff changes. And as a fan, I’ll hope there’s a significant change for the better, I just don’t believe it. The proof will be in the record next year.

    However, I do agree with Frank that this report of him looking to bolt for the NFL makes no sense on many levels. Any NFL team would laugh at him. There’s just no way a coach with a 4-8 record and with all the troubles this year at ND would be given a chance at a HC gig at the NFL, even the Browns wouldn’t take that chance.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if some other schools started rumors about this trying to pry off some of our recruits. At the very least, I’m sure some other schools will try to use this story on our recruits to get them to decommit.

  6. NOBODY in the NFL wants KELLY!!! Hell we don’t want him! Sounds like Wiess all over 7 years of no top ten wins outcoached bad in both BCS games!! Both Kelly and Swarback will be leading contenders for jobs at major high school jobs next year! Open up the checkbook and bring in a proven winner at a big time program! I would rather see LOU HOLTZ at 80 years old than another DIV. 3 coach!

  7. I agree with Frank Vitovich’s comments. I respect what Brian Kelly is doing and look forward to next year. Unlike some people my ego does not require the team I root for to win the National Championship every year. A down year is not necessarily a disaster.

  8. You expect Kelly’s career strategy to make more “sense” than this ?! Really?

    The guy who came to ND as the guru of QBs, but can’t even keep one?

    The guy who got ND to put in field turf to facilitate his “super-fast” spread offense…the one that can’t get a play off even after a timeout ?

    The guy who made the NC championship game thanks entirely to a very inspired defense, something he has been happy to continue to ignore and let atrophy into a bad joke?

    The guy who hates to run the ball so much he even kept throwing it in a North Carolina hurricane ?

    Yeah….you’re overthinking this guy.

  9. He’s done less than nothing on the recruiting trail since the end of the season. He’s lost to Navy twice and went 4-8 this season. When is it enough fellow Irish fans? I know its a bit of a gamble and a risk but its time to go after the next Urban Meyer before its too late….ROW THE BOAT!!!

  10. Unproven quarterback next year and the same core group doesn’t instill great faith in me that they will be much better than this year. Now that they gutted his assistants who will he throw under the bus next year. And before you slam me as an Irish hater I am 66 yrs old and lifetime fan. I have little respect for Brian Kelly. If they win less than 7 games he should go and take his protective shield theAD with him.

      1. Disagree – That was a good team but not that good. They were lucky, especially in the Pitt game when there were 2 ND players on the field with the same number and the officials didn’t catch it.
        In November if all the other teams have at least one loss and ND is unbeaten – ND is going to be #1 even if they don’t deserve it which in my opinion they didn’t, and they would up playing Alabama and it was no contest.

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