The Tennessee Titans lost seven of their final eight games this season after losing six of their first seven games to start the season. Perhaps the writing was on the wall, but general manager Ruston Webster was let go on Monday morning in a move that many have seen to clear the way for former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly.
Interim head coach Mike Mularkey, who led the team to a 2-7 record after taking over for the fired Ken Wisenhunt, is apparently going to get an interview for the permanent head coaching job despite the seven losses in the final eight games according to the report out of The Tennessean.
Webster’s firing makes eight general manager openings in the NFL as of Monday morning, but it could be perhaps the most attractive with a potential star quarterback in Marcus Mariota and a division that wasn’t exactly overflowing with quality teams in 2015.
Mariota’s rookie campaign was about as good as one could expect given he went through two head coaches and had a knee problem that cost him four games during the season. He finished the year completing 62 percent of his passes for 2,818 yards, 19 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and a 91.5 passer rating. He also added 252 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries.
His solid rookie campaign coupled with the high-powered production under Chip Kelly at Oregon have many speculating the two could reunite in Nashville. Mariota has even gone on the record in support of his former college head coach.
Kelly clearly wants back in the NFL, having had reported contact with both the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers about their open head coaching positions.
49ers thinking on Jim Tomsula began to change midweek with firing of Chip Kelly in Philly. Kelly under strong consideration in San Fran…
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 3, 2016
The interest appears to be mutual between the two. With a dual-threat quarterback in Colin Kaepernick (who fell out of favor with deposed head coach Jim Tomsula and company this season) and some youthful options in the backfield, the 49ers could also be attractive for Kelly.
Among those who have reached out to express interest in a potential 49ers opening: Chip Kelly and Mike Shanahan. Others to come…
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) January 3, 2016
However, another option could be the disaster that has been the Cleveland Browns according to ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio:
Plugged-in source just said to keep an eye on Chip Kelly to the Browns.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) January 3, 2016
It would be the second time the sides have had interest, with the Browns interviewing Kelly prior to the 2013 season before Kelly decided to take the Eagles’ job.
With Tennessee opening up not only the head coaching position but the GM job as well, it could be the most attractive to a guy who would like to run the show as he sees fit as he did in 2015 with the Eagles.
Can Kelly be the one to take Mariota to another level in Tennessee with the likes of potential-laden players like wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham and running backs Bishop Sankey and David Cobb? It remains to be seen, but the pairing makes sense on paper.