The Falcons are getting a head start on replacing offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who is likely to become the next 49ers head coach. Atlanta is already lining up candidates for OC, and the club has expressed interest in former San Francisco/Philadelphia head coach Chip Kelly, according to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports (Twitter link).
Kelly has met with at least one club since being dismissed by the 49ers, interviewing with the Jaguars about both their head coaching vacancy and their offensive coordinator position. Both of those roles were filled by internal candidates, as Jacksonville promoted Doug Marrone and Nathaniel Hackett to head coach and OC, respectively. Kelly also planned to meet with the Patriots and friend Bill Belichick, and was indeed spotted at Thursday’s practice session, per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com.
Kelly, 53, posted a mixed record during his two head coaching stints, but does seem to want to remain in the NFL as an offensive coordinator. Despite poor results during the past few years, Kelly can still point to 2013 — his first season in the league — as a success after directing the Eagles’ offense to a No. 3 DVOA ranking and coaching quarterback Nick Foles to a 27:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Concerns about the quick pace of Kelly’s offense, and its negative effect on his club’s own defense, could continue to hinder Kelly’s job prospects, however.
While other potential candidates for the Falcons OC job aren’t yet known, internal options could include quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur and offensive assistant Mike McDaniel, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com noted earlier this month.