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Kelly says NFL flirtation was a way to gather information

Brian Kelly addresses his interview with the Philadelphia Eagles for the first time.
Posted on Jan. 29, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 29, 2013 at 5:12 p.m.

NOTRE DAME — Brian Kelly’s brief dance with the Philadelphia Eagles was more to satiate his curiosity than to seriously consider coaching for an NFL team.

In his first media interview since Notre Dame’s loss to Alabama in the BCS national championship, Kelly addressed his interview with the Eagles, which took place in the days after the title game.

“The interview, so to speak, as people have talked about, was really a discussion I had with Jeff Lurie of the Philadelphia Eagles and his leadership team,” Kelly said during a Tuesday teleconference. “The discussion was more about intrigue on my part. I’d obviously always been in the college game. My head said, ‘Let’s be more informed as it relates to the NFL,’ but my heart is with college football and Notre Dame.”

Kelly said he wanted to get some answers about the NFL so, if Notre Dame has another successful season and the offers pop up again, he can know for sure where his heart lies.

“I wanted to be able to answer definitively that I wanted to be here and in the college game,” Kelly said.

Once news broke of Kelly’s interview with the Eagles, the silence coming from Notre Dame’s head coach was deafening. Players and assistant coaches had not been informed and, at one point, the Eagles announced that Kelly was a top prospect for the position. Kelly finally broke the spell on Jan. 12, confirming that he would stay with Notre Dame.

Kelly said if he had to do things all over again, he would have closed the gap between his interview and coming out with a statement that he was staying at Notre Dame.

“I should have been more sensitive to the fact that this time period that had been going on and released a statement much sooner,” Kelly said.

He addressed his team on Monday about the Eagles interview, letting his players know that he planned on sticking around for a while.

“I’m committed to them,” Kelly said he told his team. “I’m committed to Notre Dame. The Eagles, it was flattering that they asked to talk to me. From (the players’) perspective, they just wanted to know if I was going to be their coach, and I am going to be their coach for some time.”


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