When the Eagles fired Chip Kelly on Tuesday, one reaction shared by many people was that he’s now available to go to the Titans without any need to work out compensation with the Titans.
The biggest reason why the Titans are seen as a potential suitor for Kelly is the presence of quarterback Marcus Mariota, who was recruited to Oregon by Kelly before he left for the Eagles and was reportedly coveted by Kelly for the Eagles before this year’s draft. Mariota was asked about Kelly’s firing on Thursday and said that he has neither spoken to Kelly nor considered the possibility that he’d come to Nashville, but that he’s confident Kelly will land on his feet.
“Obviously we’ve had a connection through Oregon, but again my mindset isn’t on that,” Mariota said, via ESPN.com. “It’s unfortunate [about] Coach Kelly and his situation. But I am sure whatever team he ends up going to he’ll have success. I think he’s proven [he can be a winner] the first two years. I think this past year was tough, he probably didn’t have the season that he wanted. But to win 10 games his first two years says a lot about what he’s able to do and says a lot about his coaching.”
The Titans haven’t formally moved on from interim head coach Mike Mularkey yet, but that’s expected to come once the regular season comes to an end on Sunday. By virtue of the Rooney Rule, the Titans can’t just hire Kelly without going through some kind of interview process but things could move quickly if both sides want to see if they can prove Mariota right.