Word of the Buffalo Bills' decision to hire head coach Doug Marrone first reached our ears (or eyeballs, as the case may have been) on the morning of January 6, barely 24 hours after the team had interviewed Oregon head coach Chip Kelly for that job opening. Kelly also announced that he'd be returning to Oregon later the same day news broke that Marrone was headed to Buffalo.
Today, January 16, Kelly has agreed to become the next head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. It's an incredible story that touches not just Philadelphia, but the Bills and the Cleveland Browns, as well.
Kelly interviewed with all three of those teams on January 4, the day after Oregon beat Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl. Buffalo was considered a distant third in that race, and it showed; they had by far the shortest meeting with Kelly while Cleveland and Philadelphia talked his ear off for nearly a full day.
When Kelly announced his intention to return to Oregon on the sixth, Philadelphia's coaching search stalled and only picked up again in recent days, while Cleveland settled for Rob Chudzinski as its next head coach on January 10. Here's what Buffalo and Cleveland accomplished while the Eagles waited out Kelly:
- Marrone has all three of his coordinators in place and has hired 13 assistants in total; openings for a quarterbacks coach, receivers coach and offensive line coach (plus a quality control coach or two, in all likelihood) are all that remain.
- The Browns are still conducting GM interviews, and Chudzinski has not officially retained any coaches nor hired any new ones - though reports indicate that Norv Turner may become the team's next offensive coordinator.
What do you think, Bills fans? Are you surprised by Kelly's turnaround? If the Bills had liked Kelly better than Marrone, would you have wanted to wait an additional 10 days to get a deal done, or would you have rather had most of the coaching staff ironed out at this point?