ESPN Insider - more Kelly > NFL talk
by Vagas Ferguson (2014-12-20 13:37:30)
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Aside from Michigan's search for someone to replace Brady Hoke, all is quiet on the collegiate coaching front at the moment. That could change a week from Monday when several NFL head coaches face the chopping block. At that point, we should hear the names of some college coaches mentioned as replacement candidates.

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly likely will be one of them.

"Expect Brian Kelly to consider the pros in January much more seriously than he has the last two years," wrote Albert Breer of "Word is Kelly's frustrated with the Notre Dame administration, and might have even looked at jumping to Florida if the Gators had come after him.

"The knock he'll have to fight is that he's a stern taskmaster -- some believe he'd have the same problems Nick Saban did in the NFL."

ESPN NFL Insider Chris Mortensen noted last month the restrictions that may be frustrating Kelly at Notre Dame. He also pointed out some strengths Kelly may offer teams at the next level.

"[T]here's NFL teams that are looking at Brian Kelly that see him as a CEO type with strengths on the offensive side of the football and Notre Dame, as great as the tradition and the institution is, still has some restrictions," he said on SVP & Russillo (H/T "There's still no redshirts. There's still academic standards that are above and beyond the norm. So that's a name that I think people are looking at."

Breer sees a logical connection between Kelly and the San Francisco 49ers, though the coach may not be a front-runner should Jim Harbaugh be fired.

"Because owner Jed York is a Notre Dame alum, the Niners could wind up being connected to Kelly, with Harbaugh's successor at Stanford, David Shaw, also likely to draw speculation," Breer wrote. "But word around the league is that current Niners D-line coach Jim Tomsula remains very viable in San Francisco's eyes, so long as he can keep the bulk of the staff together."


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