The Tennessee Titans are looking for a new head coach for 2016 and now that Chip Kelly is available following his dismissal from the Eagles, could the team reunite him with Marcus Mariota? Mariota was coached by Kelly in college and is considered to be a great fit for Kelly's unique offense.
Kelly was fired by the Eagles on Tuesday following a disappointing run with the team this season and the decision was announced by owner Jeffrey Lurie. Kelly reportedly had the chance to stay with the Eagles if he gave up control of team personnel, but Kelly did not want to do that, according to ESPN. Kelly's job status has been under discussion all season and now he could be a potential target for the Titans.
Throughout the offseason there was talk that the Eagles could trade up to try and draft Mariota due to the connection with Kelly from college at Oregon, but that never came close to happening. During the season Pro Football Talk and other media outlets speculated that Kelly could reunite with Mariota if the Eagles opted to move on from the coach and now that it has happened, the speculation has started again. Mike Florio writes at PFT that the Titans could have tried to work out a trade for Kelly if he remained with the Eagles, but now the team can go after him and do without giving up any "compensation."
Kelly's undoing was the Eagles taking steps back each season and missing the playoffs this year was not good enough for Lurie to keep Kelly around. Kelly took control of the roster this offseason and some of the moves he made did not work out all that well and that did not help things once the team decided to make changes. Kelly had his hand in the release of DeSean Jackson, traded LeSean McCoy, signed DeMarco Murray and acquired Sam Bradford and now the Eagles could purge the roster a bit more once a new coach comes in.
The Titans may look at Kelly as an option, as Mariota is clearly the franchise quarterback and Kelly could be the perfect coach to develop him. Kelly and Mariota were very successful together in college and while things didn't work out for Kelly this season, he had success early in Philly and now could get a chance in Tennessee.
According to ESPN.com, Mariota may play in Week 17 after dealing with a knee injury that forced him to miss Week 16. The team is planning to "evaluate" Mariota before making a decision about whether or not he will start and ESPN reports that Mariota was able to take dropbacks at full speed in practice on Monday. The team may err on the side of caution with the Titans near the bottom of the standings heading into Week 17.