Chip Kelly drops ‘Wedding Crashers’ reference in denying reports that he was close to deal with Browns

Chip-Kelly-EaglesWhen it was first rumored that Chip Kelly would be leaving Oregon to coach at the NFL level, a number of conflicting reports surfaced that may have been caused by bad reporting, a smokescreen from Kelly’s camp, or both. First, he was supposed to interview with the Cleveland Browns. Then it became obvious that the Philadelphia Eagles were making a run at Kelly, but word surfaced that he was returning to Oregon. And now here we are.

Kelly may have planned to interview with the Browns at some point, but the former Ducks coach insists any reports about him ever having been close to a deal with Cleveland are bogus. When asked about those reports on Thursday, he made a fantastic movie reference.

Dude just went up 10 pegs in my eyes. Anyone who drops a Jeremy Grey reference in the middle of talking to reporters is a winner in my book. I don’t care if that offense Michael Vick is excited about works or not. Chip’s the man.

H/T The Big Lead

Chip Kelly reportedly will interview for Browns job

While Nick Saban is reportedly rebuffing NFL teams, Chip Kelly seems interested in seeing what is available.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday that Kelly is expected to interview with the Cleveland Browns after his Oregon Ducks compete in the Fiesta Bowl against Kansas State on Thursday. Rapoport says the interview will likely be on Friday or over the weekend. The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot confirmed the report, and she says the interview is expected to be on Friday.

Rapoport also says Kelly would not require total control.

Browns CEO Joe Banner and team owner Jimmy Haslam reportedly are in Arizona, which is where the Fiesta Bowl is taking place. They reportedly interviewed Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton for their job, which also satisfies the Rooney Rule. The team fired head coach Pat Shurmur and GM Tom Heckert earlier this week.

Kelly accepted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers job last year before ultimately deciding to return to Oregon for a fourth season. Based on that knowledge plus his willingness to talk to teams, it seems like a strong possibility that he ultimately decides to jump to the NFL.

Kelly took over a strong program from Mike Bellotti in 2009 and led the Ducks to even more success. He has led the program to four straight BCS bowl games, including two Rose Bowl appearances and a national championship game appearance. He has pioneered an extraordinarily fast-paced offense that he would likely try to install wherever he decides to go if he leaves.

If I were in Kelly’s situation, the Browns are not a team I would be eager to coach. I would definitely want to work with a more proven, mobile quarterback. Carolina seems like it would be a great fit for him.

Mike Holmgren thinks Rams-Redskins Robert Griffin III trade was an inside job

Mike Holmgren says his Browns made a strong attempt to acquire the second overall pick in the draft from the Rams, but he believes they lost out to the Redskins because of personal relationships.

Holmgren is the president of the Browns and he told the team’s season ticket holders on a conference call that Cleveland was very aggressive in its pursuit of the No. 2 overall pick — expected to be used on quarterback Robert Griffin III.

“Honestly, when it didn’t happen I think there are reasons that I can’t go into right now, but there is a very close relationship between the people getting the deal done and the people who offered. And I’m not sure anything we offered would have been good enough. We were very, very aggressive and it didn’t work,” Holmgren said, per ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi.

The relationship to which Holmgren may have been referring (per Pro Football Talk) could be Redskins G.M. Bruce Allen and Rams COO Kevin Demoff, who reportedly were colleagues and close friends with the Buccaneers

It had been reported since February that the Browns were pursuing a trade with the Rams. They had the Nos. 4 and 22 overall picks to offer, in addition to future draft picks. St. Louis accepted Washington’s package, which consisted of the No. 6 pick, a second-round pick, and two future first-round picks.

It’s impossible to evaluate the validity of Holmgren’s claim without knowing what the Browns were offering the Rams. Washington gave up a load to get Griffin, so this was far from a sweetheart deal. Maybe Holmgren was upset the Rams did not give the Browns a chance to match or beat Washington’s offer. Who knows? I just think the Redskins gave up enough to say there couldn’t have been too much favoritism going on.

Things must be uncomfortable for Colt McCoy after hearing the team’s president wanted to replace him. I guess the only way for the Browns to stick it to St. Louis now would be to draft a player at No. 4 that the Rams want at No. 6 — that would be true payback.

Browns reportedly trying to trade with Rams to draft Robert Griffin III

The St. Louis Rams already have former Rookie of the Year Sam Bradford at quarterback. Though some people believe they should use the No. 2 overall selection in this year’s NFL draft on Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, they can stick with Bradford at QB and trade the pick to beef up their roster. It sounds like the Cleveland Browns are trying to convince them to do just that.

We’ve heard plenty of chatter over the past month suggesting Cleveland was trying to trade with St. Louis to obtain the second overall pick. Ex-GM turned reporter Charley Casserly has taken that even further, reportedly saying the Browns are “in the driver’s seat” to acquire the second pick from the Rams to draft RGIII.

The Rams reportedly are discussing potential trades with several teams, and Adam Schefter mentioned the Redskins, Dolphins, and Seahawks as teams expected to draft quarterbacks. The Browns may be in the driver’s seat for a trade with St. Louis because they can offer the 4th and 22nd picks in return.

Any team that trades for the Rams’ second pick will have made a worthwhile deal; we’re expecting RGIII to be a franchise QB. And if St. Louis can grab Justin Blackmon at No. 4 and maybe a lineman or another playmaker at 22, they’d be on their way to building a stronger squad as well. This is the type of trade that can benefit both teams, much like the Giants-Chargers Philip Rivers-Eli Manning trade in 2004.

James Harrison Thinks Browns Should Be Punished for Letting Colt McCoy Play with a Concussion

James Harrison returned to practice on Wednesday for the Steelers. With the way Pittsburgh played on the road in San Francisco Monday night, they need all the help they can get. Harrison spoke to reporters after practice and had a number of quick responses, most of which indicate he now has an “oh well” attitude when the league reprimands him. He did, however, say he thinks the Browns deserve to be punished for letting McCoy go back in after the big hit.

“My helmet hit his helmet, it is what it is,” Harrison said. “If he was hurt so bad I don’t know why they let him back in two plays later. Something should be done to them, I would think. I got a game, what should they get?

While Harrison has a point, you can’t compare his crime to their crime.  He wasn’t suspended because he injured McCoy, but because the hit was illegal.  The league didn’t have to see that McCoy suffered a concussion to suspend Harrison for yet another helmet-to-helmet hit.

That being said, Harrison isn’t the only one who believes the Browns should be punished in some way.  McCoy’s father was furious the Cleveland coaches and trainers let his son back in the game and their decision completely undermines the league’s hazy policy on concussions.  Harrison is wrong in thinking that the league should have given him a break, but he is right that the Browns should face some sort of penalty for putting McCoy’s health at risk.

Chances Aren’t: Browns Now 0-11 on Coin Tosses This Season

The Cleveland Browns are having such a difficult time this season, they can’t even win coin tosses, let alone games.

The Browns dropped to 4-7 on the season after losing to the Bengals Sunday. Even more improbably, they lost the coin toss for the 11th time this year.

That’s right, even though the chances of correctly calling a coin flip are 50-50, the Browns have managed to go 0-11 on coin flips. The odds against that are 2,048-1.

“Who keeps that stat? That’s what I want to know,” left tackle Joe Thomas said two weeks ago when the team had lost its first nine flips in a row.

Thomas said that the team didn’t realize how bad it was on coin tosses until recently. He also said they don’t pay too much attention to the toss. Instead they focus on the decision to receive or kick.

What’s strange is that the Browns haven’t been the only team to struggle with coin tosses this season. The Saints had been 0-11 on flips until winning the toss Monday night against the Giants. I guess the only thing to cheer up the Browns is knowing that their streak could be much worse.

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Scott Fujita: Other Than Colt McCoy, Josh Cribbs, and Phil Dawson, Browns Stink

Browns linebacker Scott Fujita sent a tweet after his team’s 30-12 loss in Houston Sunday that complimented some teammates but criticized the rest.

“Colt McCoy is tough as nails, Josh Cribbs is an all-around baller, and Phil Dawson is money in the bank,” Fujita wrote. “Other than that, damn.”

While it’s nice that Fujita recognizes the efforts of a few teammates, it’s the “other than that, damn” part that stands out.

Cleveland is 3-5 and has lost four of its last five games. They have one of the league’s least productive offenses, and they surrendered 261 rushing yards to the Texans Sunday.

Fujita’s right — outside of Cribbs, the team doesn’t have many playmakers. Dawson is money in the bank, linebacker D’Qwell Jackson has played well, and so has Joe Haden. Beyond that, the team is not very good. But maybe that’s not something Scott Fujita should be saying. He’s a guy who held an intervention with Peyton Hillis over the running back’s poor attitude. For someone who’s supposed to be a veteran leader, it’s probably not advisable to say something that will alienate most of your team.