Though he has never spent a day in the NFL as a player or coach, the rumors pitting Brian Kelly with the League will not go away. Maybe he's at an age (53) and experience level that seems to lend itself to a college coach looking for a jump. Maybe there aren't enough candidates with the league or elsewhere in college football. Maybe it's just the way he carries himself. Or it could be that he interviewed for the Philadelphia Eagles job that ultimately went to Chip Kelly back in 2013.
Either way, the rumors aren't going away until Kelly actually takes an NFL job or ages himself out of consideration.
Speaking with Blue and Gold Illustrated last month (though it was just published on Monday), Kelly gave his latest wave of denial toward the NFL, this time appealing to the fact that he has all the creative control an NFL franchise could ever offer right there at Notre Dame.
"I don't know how to stop that other than to say there's no other place, first of all, in college that I would want to coach. No. 2, I get to pick the players that play for me, I get to negotiate the contracts. I've got the salary cap, I've got all that. In the NFL, you don't get to do any of that. Look what Chip Kelly's going through. He tries to control all that and he gets killed for it. I can do all that here at Notre Dame."
One could counter that the skepticism Kelly has gotten is driven from the types of moves he's made in Philadelphia, not necessarily the fact that he's making them in the first place.
Kelly continued: "…Bill Belichick gets control over that but he's won [four] Super Bowls. I needed to know that to make sure I wanted to do what I was doing. After seeing that and after talking to a number of guys that I know in the NFL, it's crazy."
A cynic could read this and say Kelly would never go to the NFL.... unless an owner offered him full creative control. A realist would say the only thing that really matters is Kelly is fully locked into his sixth season leading the Fighting Irish, one many think could end in the College Football Playoff. Which would mean it'd be time to start these rumors up all over again.
Meanwhile, in South Bend, Kelly and his staff have come up with a pretty killer slogan for the 2015 season.