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Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly Speaks with Philadelphi Eagles, Eyes NFL

Head coach Jim Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Raise your hands if you are surprised to hear that Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly has shown interest in the Philadelphia Eagles head coaching job?

No hands?

That’s what I thought.

It is that time of the year when college coaches, the same ones that recruited players by espousing loyalty to their alma mater, start jumping ship for the NFL.

Syracuse’s Doug Marrone has already jumped to the Buffalo Bills, despite an incredibly mediocre 25-25 record with the Orange. Which means the Bills are probably going to remain locked in medicority for at least 3 more years. Oregon’s Chip Kelly (no relation to Brian outside NFL aspirations) and Penn State’s Bill O’Brien also flirted with NFL.

Head coach Bill O'Brien of the Penn State Nittany Lions

O’Brien’s discussion with the Phildelphia Eagles was the most troubling, considering he convinced a lot of Nittany Lions players to stay at the NCAA-ravaged university by talking up loyalty to the school and the idea they were working together to restore Penn State’s reputation. They passed up the chance to transfer to a new school penalty-free because of O’Brien. It would have been hypocrisy of the highest order if O’Brien had bolted.

Now it’s Brian Kelly.

Is Kelly genuinely interested in the position – as he says he is – or is he just angling for a pay raise (despite getting a two year extension just a year ago)?

If you look at his history, I would think the NFL is his ultimate goal. Kelly has specialized in building a successful program, then cashing in for the next best thing on the football career ladder.

Head coach Brian Kelly of the Cincinnati Bearcats
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

After spending 13 years at Division II Grand Valley State, he left the school for Central Michigan after winning his second national championship. After winning the MAC Championship at Central Michigan in just his third season, Kelly left the school and took over as head coach at the University of Cincinnati. In his third season Kelly led the Bearcats to an undefeated season and #3 ranking and a spot in the Sugar Bowl. But, you guessed it, Kelly didn’t even stick around to coach the team in their bowl game, instead taking the head coaching job at Notre Dame.

Now, after three years at Notre Dame, and a trip to a BCS bowl game, Kelly is looking to jump to the NFL.

That would be about right. Three years at Central Michigan, three years at Cincinnati and 3 years at Notre Dame. Are we sensing a pattern?

Now, Kelly hasn’t taken the job in Philly, and he hasn’t been offered the position. But don’t be suprised if Kelly ends up in a different color green this offseason (or in orange, or brown, or teal, or red, or… well you get the picture).

Regardless, Notre Dame had better starting looking for a new head coach now, because Kelly is no Chris Ault.

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