Thank you Chip Kelly for becoming the latest "Yes he will, no he won't" contestant for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For those who missed the last 12-16 hours, reports popped up during the NFC Championship Game that the Bucs and Oregon coach Chip Kelly had engaged in discussions to bring him aboard as the next head coach. Talks were supposeldy heating up after meetings the week prior with several people confirming it was to be finalized by Tuesday and a few places even saying it was a done deal.
The news sent waves rolling through the NFL landscape. Potential coordinators were being discussed, the draft become a hot topic and how he would adapt his offense to the NFL system were all items being talked about as people envisioned Kelly taking over the reigns.
But alas, it was not to be. Kelly supposedly had a last minute change of heart (which could be true, or he could have assurances he's getting more cash from Oregon). The rumor mill swept us all up and Kelly firmly hit the flush button to drown the dreams of a high powered attack in Tampa. It's worth noting that Kelly never said he would coach here and in fact, we have no idea what conversations took place. The talks sound like any other talks, due diligence followed by a "Let's see if we can work this out." Kelly may have gotten caught in the hype and as he had time to think about it, realized Eugene, Oregon was where he wanted to stay.
This shouldn't feel too unfamiliar for Bucs fans. Back in 2002, after Tony Dungy was canned we had a deal with Bill Parcells, or so we thought. Turns out he had a change of heart and left us standing at the altar. Of course, we would go on to get Gruden so there's hope in 2012, though I hope it doesn't include 4 draft picks this time around.
We can thank Twitter and other social media for letting this rumor mill get out of control. But the good news, at least as I see it, is people were excited to talk about the Bucs again. We were trending and being discussed in a positive light for the first time since October. Can't argue with that.
What's next? We sit and wait. There will be more interviews, talks of potential hirings, and finally, someone will sign on the dotted line. We'll move on and this whole Chip Kelly thing will be nothing more than a blip on the radar.
History does repeat itself and 2002 isn't a bad year to repeat for the Bucs. Let's see if this coaching fiasco has the same outcome.