Joe Banner: Chip Kelly was too much of a gamble

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When Chip Kelly was introduced as head coach of the Eagles last week, he made a point of emphasizing that his decision about his coaching future came down to staying at Oregon or heading to Philadelphia.

He never mentioned the Browns as a team that was in strong consideration for his services even though they were the first team to speak to him about moving to the NFL. The Browns waited for a decisions from Kelly and then “rebooted” their coaching search while sending out signals that they walked away from Kelly because they sensed he was waffling about leaving the college ranks.

The Browns passed on comment when Kelly was hired last week, but they aren’t just sending out signals anymore. In an interview for Monday Morning Quarterback, Browns CEO Joe Banner, who spent some time accusing Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie of libelous talk last week, told Peter King that Kelly was too much of a roll of the dice.

“We removed ourselves from the process. We really liked Chip. He’s intriguing, a very different thinker, and very smart. But you could see he was uncertain what he wanted to do,” Banner said. “He may be in Philadelphia 10 years or longer and have a terrific career. But the fact he committed to Tampa Bay last year, backed out, then seemed all year to be leaning toward going to the NFL, then being so uncertain with us, we just felt it was too big a gamble. If there was no ambivalence, we may have offered him the job.”

There’s a gamble involved with every coaching hire, be it ambivalence in Kelly’s case or the lack of a head coaching track record in the case of Browns coach Rob Chudzinski. While we don’t doubt that the Browns were able to appreciate the obvious indecision on Kelly’s part when it came to leaving Oregon, things played out in a way that makes it hard to believe the Browns didn’t want him to be their coach earlier this month.

39 responses to “Joe Banner: Chip Kelly was too much of a gamble

  1. Uhhhh, explosionsauce, we say what happened to RG3! The Browns were right passing on Kelly. The organization needed someone that was totally committed!

  2. Bottom line is Joe Banner is a total jerk. I had no clue until Brian Westbrook retired and then spoke about how poorly Joe Banner treated him.

  3. When are people going to realize ANY HC hire that has no HC experience is a crap shoot? And hiring an HC with experience isn’t much more than that.

    Hire’s should be treated like the Draft, see me in 3 years and see how it worked out.

  4. But now Chip has the most talented roster in the NFL under his control. The Superbowl is virtually assured.

  5. It’s way too early to really assess how any of those moves work out.
    Can’t really fault the Browns in their thinking regarding Chip Kelly. They ascertained the situation, and made their decision based on what they knew and perceived at the time. Rightly or wrongly, they acted decisively.
    And in light of RGIII’s second serious knee injury, they may well prove to have done the right thing in the long run not to trade up for him…

  6. Banner sounds like a jealous ex girlfriend. The Browns have a solid coaching staff in place he needs to worry about getting players there

  7. Of course. Now that the Browns locked up Rob Chudzinski, who is 100% a slam dunk, no risk, sure fire winner as head coach, I see why the backed out of the Chip Kelly pursuit. Seems legit.

  8. Before everyone makes the requisite Browns jokes, consider this: who would you rather have? Chip Kelly as HC, with Pat Shurmur as OC and TBD as DC, or Bob Chudzinski as HC with Norv Turner as OC and Ray Horton as DC?

    Be honest.

  9. I may get flamed for this. But Kelly’s agent has a good relationship with Banner. I feel Chip was waffling on his descision. He decided to go back to Oregon. Chips agent kept this thing going. It was the agent that wanted him in the NFL. Chip didn’t know what he wanted. His agent informed him that he jerked Tampa around last year. He was jerking people this year. Chips stock was at it’s greatest. The hammer may come down on the Ducks. Meaning no bowl games. And Chips stock would drop. He and his agent can get paid. If it don’t work go back to college after a few years like Pete Carol and Saban. Joe Banner is no dummy. Lurie was reaching for something. And even if Kelly don’t work out. Lurie feels he won now getting the flashy coach. Good luck with Schurmur.

  10. What coach would choose coaching in Cleveland over coaching in Philadelphia. The track record in Cleveland is such that you have to assume there is inherent dysfunction in their organization.

  11. About these past Eagles players crying about Banner. Please give me a break. All these players want paid. Look at the Jets cap situation. Banners job was the business side. He coaches are the ego strokers. You don’t over pay for a downhill career player. So Eagles fan quit crying. Banner could have left you with a Jets mess.

  12. Passing, if thats what really occured, on Chip Kelly was a good move for the Browns.

    The hiring of Chud might be a good move too.

    However, Joe Banner better understand pretty fast he should stop commenting to the media on everything he does. He should concentrate on building the Browns.

    When he does talk, he should stop using phrases like, “we are only hiring the best” since no one in Cleveland beleives him. If he thinks the fans have bought into Mike Lombardi then I have a bridge to sell him.

    And if he thinks the fans in Philly are tough he should leave his private suite and sit in the Dawg Pound.

  13. I don’t blame the Browns for passing on Kelly. I wouldn’t hire a guy, either, if I got the sense that he wasn’t all in. If you hire him, he doesn’t like it and bails on you in a couple of years (Saban), what are you going to do? You’re right back where you started. Chud may not be a slam dunk success, but how many new coaches really are? At least he is guy with a lot of NFL experience and when he says he’s all in you can believe him. Much better choice than Kelly.

  14. Every head coach hire is a crapshoot. You’re either hiring A) a guy with no head coaching experience or B) a guy with head coaching experience, but he’s only available because he got fired at his previous big.

    So every time you hire a coach, you’re choosing between a newbie or a failure.

  15. You hired another winner, Cleveland! Philly fans don’t call Banner “Rat Face” for nothing. In future, notice how the Browns will start subtle, negative publicity campaigns against players who are due for new contracts. Banner will find a shill in the local media and start feeding them dirt to print.

  16. Frankly, until the Browns get a top-notch QB, it doesn’t matter who coaches the team. Look at the teams that made the playoffs this year; every single one of them had a top-notch QB. It’s a passing league nowadays, and it doesn’t matter if you resurrect Vince Lombardi and install him as your HC … you ain’t going anywhere unless you have a really, really good QB.

  17. I hope that Joe Banner enjoys his 3-13 season in 2013. No clue what Chip Kelly will or won’t achieve in Philly, but its GOT TO BE better than whatever kind of season the Browns will have.

  18. eatitfanboy says:Jan 21, 2013 10:08 AM

    Before everyone makes the requisite Browns jokes, consider this: who would you rather have? Chip Kelly as HC, with Pat Shurmur as OC and TBD as DC, or Bob Chudzinski as HC with Norv Turner as OC and Ray Horton as DC?

    Be honest.

    Thats an easy one. Chip Kelly and Pat Shurmur. Pat Shurmur wont be calling plays, he is there to help Chip get situated. Chip will run the offense. Why would I want Norv Turner? The guy coming off a horrible season. He’s not HC material but he’s a god at the coordinator position right? LOL thats a joke. And there is a reason why nobody else wanted Ray Horton. Think about it.. he got canned for TODD BOWLES!!!! that should tell you enough.

  19. Joe Banner has zero creditability at this point. The Browns offered Kelly the job and he smartly turned it down. Now he is saying they didn’t want him? Banner has a bad reputation around the league and is especially hated by players, agents and front office people.

  20. Eagles have plenty of off, power. Lots of starters coming back including Jason Peters, Todd, Kelsey, DJack, and Shady. The entire ball game is a top flite Def. Coord. Be honest, Foles did a pretty job considering he was thrown into a horrible situation and being a rookie. Laugh if you want but Foles reminds me of a younger Flacco. Get Lovi!!!!

  21. The Browns and Iggles both have their “man”. Quit playing into the hands of the media that don’t know anything more about the NFL than the readers of this site. Let’s play ball and settle it on the field.

  22. ballboy48 says:Jan 21, 2013 3:51 PM

    We all seen what has happened when the Eagles fans hailed themselves as the, “Dream team”! How has that worked out?

    Vince Young started the “dream team” crap and I highly doubt he’s a fan of the Eagles. Go crawl back into the hole you came out of.

  23. BB 48 — You forgot to mention Vick said our Eagles would be a dynasty. The truth is Vince and Vick were legends in their own minds.

  24. Why do people keep trying to stir up a non competition between the Eagles and Browns over Kelly. Cleveland had interest, they talked to the guy and went another direction. If you follow the timeline the only real competition for coaches was actually between the Browns and Bills for Doug Marrone (which the Bills won). The Browns left Arizona after Marrone was named head coach of Buffalo which was DAYS before Kelly decided to go back to Oregan. This is the same Buffalo which was another team that interviewed and walked away from Kelly which no one ever seems to mention (maybe the media got the men in black flashy thingy).

    Oregan and Philly were Kelly’s only option. Kelly said it and Banner CONFIRMED it. Last I check Cleveland already had a coach by the time Kelly had his most recent change of heart so how was he going to pick Cleveland when they already filled the position by the time Kelly made up his mind? That’s just logic.

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