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.