Chip Kelly is close to taking his fast-paced offense to the NFL.
A person familiar with the negotiations says the Cleveland Browns are nearing a deal with Oregon’s offensive mastermind to be their next coach.
The Browns interviewed Kelly on Friday and the Ducks coach was supposed to meet with Philadelphia in Arizona. However, a person familiar with the interviews says the Eagles are “heading in another direction” because Kelly is nearing a deal with Cleveland.
That person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said the Eagles planned to interview several other candidates regardless of any conversations with Kelly.
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The Eagles were granted permission to interview Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and are scheduled to meet with Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Sunday.
Following Oregon’s win over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl on Thursday night, Kelly said he wanted to get the interview process over “quickly.”
He turned down an offer from Tampa Bay last year to return for his fourth season at Oregon, where he is 46-7.
REID DEAL ALL BUT DONE
Andy Reid has agreed to a five-year deal to become coach of the Chiefs, two people familiar with the situation told The AP. The people, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said that Reid has already begun assembling a staff.
Reid’s agreement was finalized shortly after the Chiefs announced they had parted ways with general manager Scott Pioli.
It’s expected that Reid will pursue longtime Packers personnel man John Dorsey or former Browns GM Tom Heckert – or perhaps both of them – to work with him in the front office.
The Bills are taking their coaching search to Denver to interview Broncos offensive coordinator McCoy after spending much of the past week meeting candidates in Arizona. … Panthers owner Jerry Richardson scheduled a meeting with Ron Rivera for this morning to discuss the coach’s future with the team. … Pete Elliott, the longest-tenured executive director in the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s history, has died. He was 86. Elliott served as the museum’s director from 1979-1996 and continued as a member of the board of trustees in his retirement. He was head football coach at Illinois from 1960-66. … Former Patriots offensive guard Jack Davis died at the age of 80. Davis, an original member of the team when it was formed in 1960 as the Boston Patriots of the American Football League, died on Jan. 1 in Palm Harbor, Fla., the club announced. … The Redskins restored cornerback Cedric Griffin to the 53-man roster in time for the playoffs after his four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. … The Texans placed linebacker Tim Dobbins on injured reserve with an ankle injury. … Colts left guard Joe Reitz will not play against Baltimore because of a concussion. He will likely be replaced by Jeff Linkenbach. … The Giants will hold training camp at the Timex Performance Center, their year-round headquarters at the Meadowlands.
CINCINNATI (10-6) at HOUSTON (12-4)
1:30 p.m., Ch. 13
The line: Texans by 41/2.
Key stats: Houston is looking for its fifth straight win against the Bengals, who have reached playoffs in consecutive seasons for first time since 1981-82. … Cincinnati is looking for its first playoff win since Jan. 6, 1991, against the Houston Oilers. … Bengals QB Andy Dalton is 19-13 as a starter, the highest winning percentage by a Cincinnati quarterback with at least 20 starts in franchise history. … Dalton grew up in the Houston suburb of Katy. … Houston was 6-0 at home against AFC teams this season. … Houston QB Matt Schaub is 2-0 with 672 yards passing, seven touchdowns and one interception in two career starts against Bengals. … Texans DE J.J. Watt led the NFL with 201/2 sacks, tied for the sixth most since sacks became an official statistic in 1982. … Watt’s 16 passes defended led all defensive linemen.
The buzz: The Texans’ defense got quite a bit more publicity this season, but the Bengals, under defensive-minded head coach Marvin Lewis and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, quietly became one of the league’s top units, improving as the season went along. The Bengals held opponents to fewer passing yards a game than Houston did and allowed fewer points. The Texans, who beat the Bengals in the first round last season despite having quarterback Matt Schaub sidelined with an injury, face a much stiffer test this time, especially after ending the season with consecutive losses.
The pick: Bengals, 20-17. Cincy improved enough in the course of the season to be up to the challenge against the fading Texans.
MINNESOTA (10-6) At GREEN BAY (11-5)
5 p.m., Ch. 5
The line: Packers by 71/2.
Key stats: The NFC North rival Packers and Vikings have met once in the postseason, a 31-17 Minnesota victory at Lambeau Field in a 2004 NFC wild-card game. … Including that loss to the Vikings, the Packers have dropped four of their past six postseason games at home. … Minnesota’s victory on Sunday in the regular-season finale snapped a five-game losing streak to Green Bay. After losing in Green Bay on Dec. 2, Minnesota won its past four games. … Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson finished with 2,097 yards rushing, 8 shy of Eric Dickerson’s single-season NFL record. … After throwing 12 interceptions in the first 13 games of the regular season, Vikings QB Christian Ponder went the final three without a pick. … Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has thrown 24 TDs and four INTs in 10 career starts vs. Vikings.
The buzz: Adrian Peterson seems capable of almost anything. This week, he raised eyebrows by suggesting he be given a shot at returning kickoffs and blocking field goals. But as crazy as it might seem, Peterson is not the key to a Vikings upset. Time and again he has burned the Packers for huge amounts of rushing yards only to see his team lose. Seven times in his career he has rushed for more than 100 yards against Green Bay, and the Vikings have won just two of the games. But in the Vikings’ victory last week, while Peterson was rumbling close to Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record, the key to the upset may have been the re-emergence of quarterback Christian Ponder as an offensive threat. To pull off a second consecutive upset, Ponder will have to repeat that performance, this time at Lambeau Field.
The pick: Packers, 27-17. Memories of last year’s playoff collapse vs. the New York Giants are too fresh for Aaron Rodgers to let it happen again.
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