It's almost as if Chip Kelly relishes in being the one recruited for a change.
Kelly is so used to being the one who travels around the country trying to woo players and convince them to put their future in his hands; that being "recruited" by NFL execs must be a nice change.
If he were a college recruit, Kelly would be a five-star athlete. Number one at his position, a player all the big schools were after. Kelly would be a blue chip if you will.
Kelly seems to be enjoying the other side of the recruiting process and is going to take all his visits. He is going to enjoy being wooed; and who could blame him.
It's obvious that Kelly is interested in making the jump to the NFL eventually, but it is also clear he is being very particular about where he goes.
Kelly has now publicly turned down four teams in the past calendar year, possibly others behind closed doors. It started with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers early last year and then continued this year with the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles.
For the Ducks' program, Kelly turning down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year to remain in Eugene was flattering enough. The Bucs were just ten years removed from winning a Super Bowl and had a track record of hiring some of the best head coaches in the game.
Much to Oregon’s delight, Kelly decided against the Bucs job and took his talents back to Eugene. However, most people didn't think his tenure would last much longer, especially if the Ducks had success again in 2012.
The Ducks did just that, going 12-1 and winning their second straight BCS bowl (their fourth consecutive appearance in such games), so it seemed like a forgone conclusion to many that Kelly would finally be heading to the next level.
For Kelly to turn down the Bucs in early 2012 was understandable. To interview with the Browns at length and not come away with a deal also wasn't shocking. But the Eagles, that one was different. That one should resonate with the Duck faithful.
The Philadelphia Eagles are not just an average NFL organization. While this season they may not have looked it on the field, the Eagles are one of the premier destinations in the league and Oregon should be honored that Kelly chose them instead.
If NFL teams were ranked by attractiveness for coaches, the Eagles would be a top-five team no doubt. Based on success on the field the past fifteen years, ownership's dedication to winning (and willingness to spend), the presence of superstar players and television exposure; the Eagles are in the class of teams like the Packers, Steelers and Patriots. The best.
The Eagles have been a championship contender every year for the past decade and boast quite the resume to prove it. A trip to the Super Bowl in 2004, four-straight NFC championship appearances from 2001-04 and another in 2008, six NFC East titles in nine years and nine playoff appearances in thirteen seasons; this is a resume very few NFL teams can compete with.
The Eagles have also proven to be loyal. Their previous head coach, Andy Reid, held the position for fourteen seasons while also holding the title of executive vice president of football operations for the past twelve years. This is the type of job security and control that any coach would love to have.
If that isn't enough to be excited about as a potential head coach, consider that last July Forbes had the Eagles listed at #14 on their list of most valuable sports franchises in the world, at a worth of $1.12 billion dollars. That is fourteenth in the world, not just the United States.
So it's safe to say Kelly turned down quite the opportunity in Philadelphia. The Eagles organization itself is enough to make any coach giddy, but Philly also has a roster already in place that would fit Kelly's style perfectly. Although a Kelly-ran NFL offense would look nothing like his offense at Oregon, the Eagles are at least two-deep at quarterback, wide receiver and running back, which would definitely bode well for Kelly.
In the end none of the Eagles' (or any suitors) accolades mattered. Nothing they could offer was enough to rip Kelly from his current job at Oregon, which is extremely impressive.
If Kelly continues his success at Oregon (especially if he is able to finally deliver that national championship that has eluded him by just a field goal each of the past three seasons) it is undeniable that NFL teams will continue to come calling each offseason.
If that happens, Kelly may continue to take his "recruiting" visits, but he has made it clear that only the perfect opportunity will lure him to the next level, because if Philly can’t rip him away from the Ducks, not many can.
Vince Tushner is on Twitter. Follow him at @SportsVince21