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Willis McGahee

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‘Kelly’s Hero’s?’ - Eagles interview Notre Dames Kelly

Despite being pulverized to the tune of a 42 - 14 hammering at the hands of Alabama (M.V.P Eddie Lacy running over the number one ranked and previously unbeaten Notre Dame for 157 yards and two touchdowns) in the Bowl Championships title game, a defeat that though proving beyond all reasonable doubt Notre Dame are still playing catch up to College football’s elite, it appears coach Brian Kelly may not be around next year to get them closer - If the Wednesday 9th edition of USA Today is anything to go by.

Mike Garafolo reports – ‘Notre Dame Football coach Brian Kelly met with the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday about their vacant head coaching job’. ‘According to a person informed of the meeting between parties’.

He continued: ‘The person, who spoke to ‘USA Today’ on condition of anonymity because the Eagles hadn’t confirmed the meeting, said Kelly was not in the country and ‘would speak’ to the NFL team when he returned.'

Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden are also in the frame, as is Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Bruce Arians, recently released from hospital for nausea.

Although today, NFL.com claimed that Arians would prefer to set up camp in San Diego, due to his close affiliation with former Colts President of Football Operations – Tommy Telesco. Arians was quoted as saying “I would be [interested] now that Tommy's there," Arians said, via  SportsRadioInterviews.com. "I think so much of [the] success that teams have are great relationships between general manager and head coach."

The carousel continues…

‘Reid all about it!!’ Andy Reid arrow’s in to Arrowhead to take over at Kansas City

A week after his tenure at Lincoln financial Field came to a sorry end amidst a 42 - 7 humiliation at Metlife Stadium, Andy Reid stood in front of the gathering press on Monday, as the new Head Coach of the Kansas City Chief’s.

Whilst addressing the assembled media at Arrowhead, Reid discussed the talks, which though lengthy, left him with little doubt that Kansas was the right fit “It was a three hour meeting that ended up being a nine hour meeting and it probably could’ve gone on longer than that”.

Reid continued: “You got this feeling, “This is right, so it made the decision easy. I crossed my fingers I’d be offered the job, and I was”.

Regardless, Reid faces quite the challenge in turning round a team that finished bottom of the AFC West with a 2 - 14 record, despite the assertion that Kansas boasts a roster supposedly better than its record suggests.

The Chief’s edged out the Jaguars (2 - 14) for the number one pick courtesy of the latter’s softer schedule, but despite the struggles endured by both Brady Quinn (56.9 completion percentage, 2 touchdowns to 8 interceptions), and Matt Cassel (58.1 completion percentage, 6 touchdowns to 12 interceptions) Reid didn’t rule out the possibility of using the pick to strengthen other areas “We’ve been blessed with the no.1 pick in the draft. It doesn’t have to be a QB. It has to be the right thing”.

One can understand the logic, as this year’s draft prospects are not the stellar quality of 2012. However, with Quinn, Cassel and third stringer Ricky Stanzi representing your only options, the answer to the Quarterbacking conundrum must surely lie elsewhere, and could that answer lie in the form of West Virginia’s Geno Smith?

Smith has drawn comparisons with RG3, although the common consensus suggests he lacks the explosiveness of pace on the run, and is in fact, more of a Donovan McNabb type Quarterback. No bad thing, given that together Reid and McNabb took the Eagles to 5 NFC Championship games and a Superbowl appearance (losing 24 - 21 to the New England Patriots in Superbowl 39)

One thing’s for sure, you can pretty much guarantee that Michael Vick won’t be joining his former coach at Arrowhead, especially if NFL.com’s ‘Around the League’ Marc Sessler is to be believed ‘Don't bank on this one. Reid wasn't exactly enamored with Vick during a trouble-filled season with the Eagles in 2012. Vick was essentially shut down before an injury to rookie Nick Foles thrust the 32-year-old passer back into the lineup’.

New Cat in Town!! – Panthers Acquire New General Manager

The Panthers hired New York Giants Senior Pro Analyst David Gettleman, who replaces longtime General Manager Marty Hurney, fired after week 6 following a 1– 5 start to 2012, although Carolina staged a recovery of sorts, winning 5 out of 6 to finish 7 - 9.

Regardless, going into 2013, much will be expected of a team that some saw as dark horses for the Lombardi trophy. But, they’ll have to do it without offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski, who was today unveiled as the new Head Coach of the Cleveland Browns…

‘It’s Tebow time!!!’...Or not.

“All he does is win games” boomed ESPN’s Skip Bayless upon the chosen one’s descent into the Big Apple, although he won’t be doing it in Jacksonville, something new General Manager David Caldwell made abundantly clear whilst addressing the media on Thursday “I can’t imagine a scenario where he could be a Jacksonville Jaguar”.

Cue mass hysteria - “Even if he’s released?” asked one clearly stunned reporter.

"Even if he's released," Caldwell said.

That's why all the reporting last month that said it was a "virtual certainty" Tebow would land in Jacksonville after one season with the New York Jets was so curious. Perhaps Jaguars ownership wanted him, but the ultimate decision-maker was not in place yet.

Caldwell is making those decisions, and he made it clear that Tebow won't have a future with the team. Caldwell noted Blaine Gabbert was the second-youngest quarterback in the NFL and that he would compete for a starting job next season.

"There will be an open competition," Caldwell said. It just won't include Tebow. With the Jaguars out of the picture, you have to ask serious questions about his NFL future, and not just at the Quarterback position.

‘The Running…men?’ – McGahee back for Broncos?

The Denver Broncos backfield options may be given a welcome enhancement following news that Willis McGahee returned to practice on Wednesday, just as Denver prepares to play Baltimore for the right to contest the AFC Championship next weekend.

McGahee is on injured reserve and isn’t eligible to play until the Championship game, however new rules allow players to practice, provided clearance is provided by team doctors. “If not, I’ll be really disappointed” said McGahee on Monday. McGahee has been nothing more than a frustrated observer, following surgery to repair a torn medial collateral knee ligament in his right knee on November the 18th. The Broncos used their revocable injured – reserve slot on him, optimistic he would somehow recover in time to play a significant role come playoff time.

In the first six games since McGahee went down, 2009 first round pick Knowshon Moreno has rushed for a total of 515 yards and three touchdowns. He played one of his best games of his Broncos career in Denver’s first game against the Ravens in week 15, delivering 115 yards, a touchdown, and a moment of wonderful exuberance, when he hurdled over safety Ed Reed. ‘Reed that’ indeed…

“Being able to run against a good team was defiantly a boost, and it meant a lot to us”, remarked Moreno on Monday. “We want to duplicate that”. With a dual threat from the backfield a now a very real possibility; they may just do that…

images: © Keith Allison