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Still trying to grasp what went down with Chip Kelly

By Pat McManamon

Peter King touches on the Browns interview with Chip Kelly and his subsequent hiring by the Philadelphia Eagles on SI.com today. In his story, King has Joe Banner address the Browns long interview with Kelly, and what happened after.

Naturally the Browns keep saying they walked away because they felt hesitancy from Kelly.

And King quotes the Browns CEO:

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. 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.

Which of course sounds like the classic chicken or the egg scenario.

Did the Browns walk away because Kelly was hesitant, or was Kelly hesitant because he didn’t want to work for the Browns? And given the Browns have Norv Turner and Ray Horton as coordinators, does any of it matter?

It would seem logical that the Browns “removed themselves” from the process because Kelly was hesitant, and it seems just as logical that Kelly expressed hesitancy because he preferred the Eagles.

It’s fine that he did. Really it is.

Except it’s not totally fine if Kelly was the first choice (a first choice that didn’t exist), and the team feels a need to explain why the first choice (that didn’t exist) didn’t work out.

Perhaps Kelly didn’t like what he heard about the front office structure, that Banner would be involved in personnel and Mike Lombardi would be hired. Nobody knows, really, but something wasn’t right.

In seven hours a guy can learn a lot and express a lot.

If Kelly was hesitant because of what he heard, that would of course come across to the Browns. And the Browns would feel it and then back away.

The one missing element in the discussion is that the Browns waited a second day to talk to Kelly, and flew home when he spent so much time with the Eagles. Perhaps the Browns spent the day shopping in Scottsdale.

Clearly there was hesitancy on Kelly’s part and clearly he seems to have a hard time making a decision. But just as clearly it seems his hesitancy was because he preferred the Eagles to the Browns.

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