Chip Kelly briefly flirted with a job offer from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last offseason before opting to return to Oregon. With the Ducks enjoying another bountiful season in 2012, Kelly’s old boss doesn’t think he’ll be in Eugene much longer.
“It’s just inevitable that he will eventually be in the NFL,” said former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti, who hired Kelly away from New Hampshire in 2007 to be his offensive coordinator before handing Kelly the head coaching job in 2009. “Chip is one of the ultimate competitors and he sees that. It actually surprised me he changed his mind [with the Bucs] last year.”
Kelly, never one to buy into the media rumor mill, responded with, “I have no reaction. What we do here is all I’m focused on … We’re not talking about where we’re going. We have a one-week mission. Our mission this week is Cal. You need to narrow down your focus more nine games in.”
While Kelly’s 43–6 run in the past three-plus seasons has been incredible, he still craves a national title. Only when he gets one can you expect him to start thinking about opportunities at the next level in earnest.