If nothing else, Chip Kelly would have been an intriguing hire for the Bucs

Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly (L) encourages his team during the third quarter of their NCAA football game against the Washington Huskies in Eugene, Oregon, November 6, 2010. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

For at least the second time in franchise history, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been “jilted at the altar.”

Those infamous words came out of the mouth of former owner Hugh Culverhouse, who uttered them after Bill Parcells broke a handshake agreement to become the Bucs’ head coach in 1992. If Culverhouse were still alive to this day, he may have said the same thing about Chip Kelly.

According to a report by KGW NewsChannel 8 in Portland, the Bucs were in the process of finalizing a deal on Sunday night that would have made Kelly their next head coach. The St. Petersburg Times confirmed the report and for roughly 10 hours it appeared as though Kelly would bring his explosive zone-read offense to the pros.

But on Monday morning, Kelly reversed field and decided not to accept the Bucs’ head-coaching job. While he said he was flattered by the Bucs’ interest, Kelly ultimately decided that his heart was in Oregon and thus, a deal that was reportedly “done” on Sunday evening had fallen through. Once again, the Bucs are now back to square one in their search for Raheem Morris’ replacement.

But for a moment, we can at least discuss what it would have been like had Chip Kelly’s offense been brought to the NFL. As offensive coordinator in 2007 and ’08, and as head coach since 2009, Oregon has had one of the most dynamic offenses in college football under Kelly. He’s aggressive, innovative, and he isn’t afraid to try something new. He’s also known as a disciplinarian, which would have been a far cry from the way Raheem Morris ran things in Tampa.

His hiring would have also reeked of Steve Spurrier.

Dan Snyder gave Spurrier $25 million to bring his “Fun ‘n’ gun” offense to the NFL and the experiment lasted only two years as the Redskins went 12-20 over that span. Washington finished in the bottom of the league in every major offensive category under Spurrier, including total yards per game, passing efficiency and yards per attempt.

But Spurrier never acquired enough talent to run his offense either. He thought he could win with Shane Matthews, Danny Wuerffel and Patrick Ramsey, but all three usually wound up looking out of their ear holes because Washington’s offensive line couldn’t keep them upright. It’s easy to say that Spurrier’s offense didn’t work but it’s not like he put himself in position to win with the talent he surrounded himself with.

There are many current NFL coordinators that fail to attack defenses on a weekly basis and their conservative ways continue to hold their teams back. At the very least, Kelly would have installed an aggressive scheme and introduced some new elements to the pro game.

Would it have worked? We won’t find out any time soon.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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