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Senior NFL Columnist

Monday Musings: Chip Kelly should top all NFL coaching lists

-- If I were owner of a team making a coaching change, the first guy I'd go after would be Oregon coach Chip Kelly. A year ago, there is no way I would have said that. In fact, when it looked like the Bucs might hire him, I ripped it. But Kelly has changed my mind. He is a smart guy who bucks convention. That's impressive. He is smart enough to adjust his offense to the NFL. Kelly isn't afraid to take chances. He puts the pressure on a defense. His offense is non-stop. That's unlike most NFL offenses. Yes, he'd have to change some to protect his quarterback, but it's doable. The Jacksonville Jaguars, who almost certainly will make big changes after the season, would be wise to go after Kelly if they dump coach Mike Mularkey after one season. Kelly would add some excitement to a team that has lacked it for a long time. The offensive system the Jaguars have used under the last two head coaches is so outdated and primitive. They take no chances. Kelly does. If owner Shad Khan is to make a move, which is looking more and more likely, Kelly should be on his radar.

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-- Jon Gruden is gauging the interest of potential assistants. He's coming back. I know a lot of people think it's crazy to assume Cleveland is in the mix; I hear it's not so crazy. Gruden is from Ohio. So it's not a given that he goes to Philadelphia. In fact, I would find it hard to believe he would replace Andy Reid, his good buddy.

-- I can't believe what I am seeing with the Giants' offense. They were so good early this season, and now nothing. That's with Hakeem Nicks back healthy. I know the offensive line has struggled, but Eli Manning is just off his game. But I don't buy the tired-arm talk. What's his arm tired from? He has played the same number of games as every other starter. Manning was picked twice against the Bengals and fumbled once, all leading to points. The Giants are turning the ball over way too much. It starts with Manning.

-- Norv Turner, call your Realtor. You are all but done.

-- If Bucs linebacker Lavonte David is not the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, it would be a mistake. David had another huge day against the Chargers with 16 tackles, three for loss. He is a star in the making.

-- I am a big believer that the Falcons have to get running back Jacquizz Rodgers more involved in their offense. It just takes way too long for Michael Turner to get things going. He's too slow to the line. Rodgers is quick. They can use him more like the Saints use Darren Sproles. That showed up on the team's final drive. But when they got inside the 5, it was Turner who came on. He was stuffed on a second-down run for no gain, never getting a chance to get back to the line.

-- Cam Newton's pick-six at the hands of Tony Carter was a horrible throw. Take the sack and move on. Instead, Newton just threw it up and Carter easily picked it off and ran it in for a score.

-- The weekly why-did-they-pay-two-backs note: Carolina's DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart combined for 37 yards on 14 carries. Williams had six yards on six carries. Ugg.

-- Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio is doing a heck of a job. His unit had seven sacks, one for a safety, and the pick-six by Carter. His defensive players spent the day in the Carolina backfield. Tackle Kevin Vickerson, not exactly known for his pressure, had two sacks. The bad news is end Elvis Dumervil will undergo an MRI and could be lost for a while with a shoulder injury.

-- The Oakland Raiders' defense is horrendous. First-year coach Dennis Allen has a defensive background, but it's hard to coach up bad talent. The Raiders lack talent on that side of the ball. General manager Reggie McKenzie has a big job in front of him trying to fix that defense.

-- I guess Chris Johnson is fine when he has blocking. He averaged 5.5-yard per rush against the Dolphins and went over 100 yards. All he needs is help.

-- Ryan Tannehill had a rookie game against the Titans. He was bad. It was his worst game of the season, and he looked shaken at times. He threw three picks, one was returned for a touchdown, and he had a passer rating of 42.3.

-- How did Alex Smith and Jay Cutler stay in the game after suffering concussions? Isn't the NFL supposed to be doing a better job of monitoring these things? Horrible.

-- The worst thing I saw this weekend was the Ravens faking a field goal up 41-17. They scored on a 7-yard run by holder Sam Koch. That's just classless. That's the kind of things that coaches have to realize can't be done in those situations. The Raiders acted like they weren't mad. But I can bet they were. Show some class.

-- It's almost comical that Saints linebacker Scott Shanle called the Falcons "classless" for the way they acted before Sunday's game. The Falcons are the ones who think the Saints are classless. Remember when they danced on their logo after beating the Falcons in Atlanta two years ago? Or when they put Drew Brees back in last year's game to break Dan Marino's record? There's a reason the Falcons wouldn't allow their logo on the statue outside the Saints stadium. It's because of things like that. Maybe the Falcons players got a bit mouthy with former teammate Curtis Lofton, who, after signing with the Saints, said it was nice to be on a team that had a real chance to win a Super Bowl. But the Saints might want to look in the mirror. And that's not even bringing up Bounty-gate, which is a thing of the past in my eyes.

-- Adrian Peterson is special. How can a back do what he's doing after major knee surgery 10 months ago? Wow. He's better than ever.

 
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