Fans brace for Kelly-NFL news: 'Like I was losing a family member'

Fans brace for Kelly-NFL news: 'Like I was losing a family member' »Play Video
Oregon head coach Chip Kelly tosses a football to a Kansas State player during warmups before the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)

EUGENE, Ore. - After leading the Ducks to a Fiesta Bowl win, will Chip Kelly stay at Oregon - or will he go to the pros? and both report that Kelly is close to a deal with the Cleveland Browns.

Eugene wants to know for sure.

"If he has bigger and better things to do in the NFL, props to him," said Duck fan Patrick Bryant. "I'll root him on because he was an Oregon duck, but I wish he'd stay because of the success we've had and I think he could get us back to the national championship."

"I'd be happy for him going on to the NFL," said University of Oregon student Thomas Witt. "I mean that's a great place to get going, but I'd also feel like I was losing a family member almost."

"His stock is never going to be higher than it is right now with all the openings in the NFL," said Duck fan Jack Douell. "I think he's earned the right to go and coach for whoever he wants to coach for."

Last year, Kelly declined an offer to go to Tampa Bay, saying he had unfinished business in Eugene.

Some fans think that Kelly may still have business to do before he moves on to the pros.

"I feel like he may have the mission to take us to bigger and better things, you know: actually win the national championship rather than just get there," said Donald Rickman, a UO student.

And of course, there's the Beaver fan in Duck country who'd be happy to see Chip hit the road.

"I think it'd be awesome if he left," said Kaleb Cook. "It would open up an opportunity for a new coach and they'd have to start rebuilding the new team and that would give the time for the Beavers to start rebuilding their team as well, maybe start dominating again."

Whatever choice he makes, Duck fans said their team's fire will still burn.

"They're kind of a machine right now," said Bill Betts, "and they've had so many of the other coaching staff be here for decades, I think it would continue."