From the moment the Titans used the second overall pick on quarterback Marcus Mariota, the dots emerged in plain sight, easily connectable.
If Chip Kelly couldn’t get Mariota to Philadelphia, Kelly possibly would get himself to Nashville.
Of course, that requires the Tennessee Titans job to be open. It now is.
Kelly, who coached exclusively at the college level before jumping to the Eagles three years ago, surely knows enough about the pro game to know that he can’t win consistently at this level without a franchise quarterback. And while it’s still not yet clear that Mariota will be a franchise quarterback, it’s clear that Kelly believes, in his system, Mariota would be the perfect quarterback.
There are still plenty of hurdles to overcome before it would happen. The Titans, at 1-6, are only one game behind the Colts, Texans, and Jaguars in the AFC South loss column. If Mularkey leads them to a division title, it will be hard to not give him the permanent job. Likewise, the 3-4 Eagles are in second place in the NFC East, only one-half game behind the Giants, who lost to Philly by 20 points two weeks ago.
Still, Kelly surely is fascinated by the prospect of reuniting with Mariota in a division that’s currently even worse than the one Kelly is in. And the key to Kelly succeeding over the long haul in the NFL could be hitching his wagon to the guy he recruited to Oregon.
The connection between Kelly and Mariota is reason enough for the Titans to be interested. Any other coach would say all the right things about wanting Mariota as his quarterback during the interview process, but once on the job it’s possible that coach would set in motion a plan aimed at getting his own guy.