East Notes: Kelly, McDaniels, Coughlin

Just a week after Eagles head coach Chip Kelly was said to be “despondent” and “mulling all options” on the heels of back-t0-back blowout losses, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that the head coach is likely to return to the Philadelphia sidelines in 2016. Owner Jeffrey Lurie remains a staunch Kelly supporter, even though he is aware of some dissension in the locker room, and per La Canfora, Lurie “did not hand Kelly total control to the roster a few months ago to consider launching a new search for a coach and GM now.” Although it is not inconceivable that Kelly could return to the college ranks in 2016, those vacancies are filling up quickly and team officials would be shocked if Kelly left the Eagles before completing his fourth season with the club.

  • Although Kelly surely appreciates Lurie’s loyalty, Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer wonders if Kelly himself is too loyal to under-performing players. During Kelly’s tenure with the Eagles, he has never released or benched a player for poor performance, and McLane thinks certain members of the club may have become complacent.
  • Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is once again a hot head coaching candidate, and La Canfora writes that he is open to speaking with teams this offseason. Of course, given McDaniels’ disastrous stint in Denver, he would only go to a team that has a strong organizational structure from ownership down, since another failed tenure would likely spell the end of his head coaching opportunities. Many clubs are enamored with McDaniels’ offensive mind and ability to extract a great deal of production from an offense that has to continually reinvent itself, and McDaniels is viewed as the closest thing to a Belichick clone to emerge from the Belichick coaching tree.
  • If McDaniels is to leave the Patriots, Ben Volin of The Boston Globe sees the Lions as the most likely landing spot, given that the team has a good young quarterback in place and ownership that has shown patience in the past. The Titans have been viewed as a fit, and they may be, but their ownership situation is unstable, and Volin does not believe McDaniels would disrespect New England by going to a team like the Dolphins or Colts that has a history of bad blood with the Patriots.
  • Giants head coach Tom Coughlin may be on the hot seat, but as Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News writes, Coughlin typically thrives with his back to the wall. Of course, the team had a chance to take a commanding lead in the NFC East last week and failed to do so, which means that the Giants’ string of four straight seasons without a playoff berth is in danger of continuing. If that happens, Coughlin’s two Super Bowl rings and respect from team ownership may not be enough to save him.
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