News, Notes & Quotes - Jan. 2

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday January 02, 2017

- It’s the NFL’s Black Monday, but most of the moves have already been made.

The 49ers and Chargers made changes on Sunday night, and Gary Kubiak is stepping down with the Broncos. The only teams left to keep an eye on are the Colts and maybe the Lions if they lose next weekend or the Saints — Sean Payton could be traded or go to the Rams.

Teams that have already said they won’t make changes include the Bears, Jets and Browns. We’re at six NFL head coaching openings. Will a college head coach make the jump up? The college coaching carousel may not be over yet.

Keep track of NFL openings and interviews here.

- So what will Chip Kelly do next?

The 49ers let Kelly go after one 2-14 season. It’s been a quick fall after a solid debut in the NFL. Would he have been interested in the UConn job if this happened a week ago? Do you think he regrets not taking Mark Helfrich’s offer to come back to Oregon again?

Kelly had three years left on his contract, so he’ll still get plenty of money, but turning to a year from now, would Kelly want to go back to college football? He famously hates recruiting and dealing with boosters.

Coaches who enter 2017 on the hot seat will probably have fanbases (and boosters) calling for Kelly to be hired next fall. The pressure will ratchet up. But until then, will Kelly stay out of football next fall? Could he end up in an off-field role somewhere? Kelly’s a unique personality. It’s hard to see him staying out, but no one knows what he’ll do next.

- Anthony Lynn is the favorite for the Bills job, by all accounts, and he made it clear he wants the job above others. Lynn is expected to get head coaching interest elsewhere.

“This is where I want to be, is right here with the Buffalo Bills,” Lynn said after Sunday’s interim head coaching loss to the Jets “So, this would be my No. 1.”

Adam Schefter reports former Jaguars head coach is expected to follow Lynn if he gets a head coaching job. Lynn didn’t confirm nor deny it.

“Gus and I are friends,” Lynn said. “We’ve been friends for a while and he’s a good defensive coordinator. Someone told me something about him being tied to me. I don’t know about all that.”

- Dabo Swinney could tell this Clemson team was special from day one. They struggled and times at got some breaks (see: NC State), but it showed in the 31-0 win over Ohio State.

“The leadership, not that last year's was bad, but the leadership this year has just been unbelievable,” Swinney said after the win. “I mean, literally from day one, from the first meeting I had with them when I got off the road in January and we had our first team meeting and a new group of seniors. These guys have been amazing.

“We do these accountability runs in the spring. And our first two or three accountability runs, nobody had to run (again). Just literally from day one, the leadership has been unbelievable.”

While last year’s team lost defensive stars, those positions are actually deeper this year.

“We have more guys that can go play winning football,” Swinney said. “Last year, we were very top heavy. We had a very good first group but we were a lot of freshmen behind them. And now we're just more experienced, more guys that can go play and play good, functional, winning football. That's the biggest difference.”

Will it pay off against Alabama this time? We’ll find out a week from today.

- Washington entered Saturday leading the nation in turnover margin, but they were minus-3 against Alabama.

The Huskies were plus-21 entering the game. A first-half fumble led to an Alabama field goal, and they threw a pick-six late in the half. That’s 10-points in a 24-7 game.

“If you can make them, they're game changing,” Chris Petersen said. “You don't know what's going to come out of them, but it's game-changing. I mean, they had their two turnovers, and it was a field goal and a touchdown.

“You feel with that type of field position, that type of momentum, good things are going to happen. Our guys know it. We just couldn't quite make the play for whatever reason.”

- Enjoy Andy Reid and the Chiefs’ locker room celebration after winning the AFC West.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to