Is Brian Kelly Leaving Notre Dame To Coach Redskins?
Is Brian Kelly leaving the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to coach the Washington Redskins?
That is the question folks around South Bend are asking after a new report from Sports Illustrated indicated that Kelly is on the radar of several NFL teams.
In a new column, SI’s Albert Breer says that during a conversation with a league scout it came out that Kelly is viewed as “underrated” in NFL circles.
“Had an interesting exchange with a scout on Sunday that led me to this developing opinion: Brian Kelly, underrated,” Breer wrote.
“He’s in his 10th year at Notre Dame now. He’s a good bet to post his fifth 10-win season, and third straight.
“In the 16 years before his arrival, the Irish had just two 10-win campaigns.
“At the very least, he’s the best coach in South Bend since Lou Holtz,” he added.
“And I wonder if NFL teams kick tires on him again—despite the fact that some think he’s too much of a drill sergeant for the league.”
Kelly has been with Notre Dame for a decade now and has been linked to several NFL gigs during that time.
Most notably, Kelly was reportedly in serious running for the Philadelphia Eagles head coaching vacancy back in 2013.
That job ultimately ended up going to Chip Kelly.
A few years later Kelly was connected to openings with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears, but nothing ever materialized there.
When later asked about the potential Bears job, Kelly said that coaching in the pro ranks “doesn’t appeal” to him.
While that is obviously an understandable position at this point in time, it could change.
Notre Dame currently has one loss on the year and has games against USC, Michigan, Duke and Stanford remaining on the agenda.
While the Fighting Irish could theoretically beat all of those teams, they could just as easily stumble.
If Kelly ends the year with three or more losses – all parties involved could view it as time to make a change.
Presuming Kelly does end up leaving for the professional ranks, Washington appears to be the likeliest destination.
Jay Gruden has proven himself to be something of an inept head coach at the NFL level, and his Hail Mary attempt to salvage his career by playing rookie Dwayne Haskins did not work out for him.
Gruden’s firing is an inevitability at this point, so Kelly could easily slide into that slot during the offseason.
The question is: would he want to?
The answer is unknown, but it probably depends heavily on how much faith he has in Haskins as a quality quarterback who can succeed in the pros.
Will Kelly leave Notre Dame for greener pastures?
We will find out soon enough.