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Browns CEO on Chip Kelly: 'We just felt it was too big a gamble'

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com
The Eagles hired Chip Kelly on Jan. 16. (US Presswire)

The timeline goes like this: on Jan. 4 there were reports then-Oregon coach Chip Kelly was close to a deal that would make him the Browns' next coach. A day later, Kelly met with the Eagles though the Browns remained optimistic about their chances. Then, on Jan. 6, Kelly decided to forgo the NFL altogether and return to Oregon.

That lasted a grand total of 10 days. Last Wednesday, the Eagles hired Kelly to replace Andy Reid.

Browns CEO Joe Banner recently told Sports Illustrated's Peter King that Kelly's indecisiveness prompted the organization to "(remove) ourselves from the process.

"We really liked Chip," Banner said. "He's intriguing, a very different thinker, and very smart. But you could see he was uncertain what he wanted to do. He may be in Philadelphia 10 years or longer and have a terrific career. But the fact he committed to Tampa Bay last year, backed out, then seemed all year to be leaning toward going to the NFL, then being so uncertain with us, we just felt it was too big a gamble. If there was no ambivalence, we may have offered him the job.''

There may be some revisionist history going on, but unless Banner has access to a time machine it doesn't really matter. The Browns hired Rob Chudzinski as their new coach, and Norv Turner and Ray Horton as the offensive and defensive coordinators.

Kelly is a splash hire, for sure, but Cleveland has more immediate concerns. Like deciding if first-year quarterback Brandon Weeden is in the team's long-term plans.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to the Pick-6 Podcast on iTunes. You can follow Ryan Wilson on Twitter here: @ryanwilson_07.

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