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Kelly not paying attention to NFL teams

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Kelly not paying attention to NFL teams

MIAMI (AP) Brian Kelly says leaving Notre Dame ``isn't an option.'' Alabama's Nick Saban says he has no ``unfinished business'' in the NFL.

While Oregon coach Chip Kelly ponders which NFL job - if any - he wants, the coaches getting ready to meet in the BCS championship said during media day at Sun Life Stadium that they have no interest in jumping to the pros.

Brian Kelly is in his third season with the top-ranked Fighting Irish and has led them to an undefeated season. Notre Dame will try to win its first national championship since 1988 by beating No. 2 Alabama on Monday night.

The 51-year-old Kelly has steadily climbed the coaching ladder, from Grand Valley State to Central Michigan to Cincinnati to Notre Dame, winning big at every stop along the way.

The next logical step would be the NFL, but for now, he said he has no desire to give it a try.

``Leaving is not an option. I don't even think about it,'' he said Saturday.

Chip Kelly is being courted by the Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills. There haven't been the same type of rumors and speculation about Brian Kelly.

He said even if an NFL team was interested in talking to him about a job vacancy, he wouldn't know.

He said there is a strict protocol in place and any NFL team would have to speak with his agent first, and that information wouldn't be passed along to him until after the BCS championship game.

``I think from my perspective I've got the best job in the country, NFL, college, high school, whatever,'' Kelly said. ``I just look at the place that I'm at and thankful for the opportunity that I have.''

Saban, who did a two-year stint with the Miami Dolphins before taking the Alabama job in 2007, doesn't seem to have any interest in going back. But the rumors about NFL teams being interested in the Crimson Tide coach come up just about every year.

``I don't have any unfinished business in the NFL,'' Saban said. ``It's not something I'm concerned about. It's not even anything I want to do.''

It's getting easier to believe the 61-year old Saban with every passing year, but the way he left the Dolphins will always leave some doubting what he says.

``I guess I have to say it. I'm not going to be the Alabama coach,'' Saban said on Dec. 21, 2006, two weeks before he became Alabama coach.

Saban has a chance to win his third national title in the last four seasons with the Crimson Tide, and fourth championship overall. He also won one in 2003 with the LSU. He left the Tigers for the Dolphins after the 2004 season and went 15-17 in two seasons with Miami.

``I'm not looking for new challenges,'' he said. ``I'm just trying to take advantage of helping the challenging situation that we have and continue to be successful.''

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AP Sports Writer Time Reynolds contributed to this report.

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Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphdrussoap

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10 Questions in 10 days: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart

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10 Questions in 10 days: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart

With Redskins Training Camp set to begin July 26th, JP Finlay takes a look at 10 of the most pressing questions for the Burgundy and Gold. 

No. 10: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart

The Redskins top two linebackers rank among the most productive units in the NFL. When healthy, Mason Foster and Zach Brown are highly efficient tacklers. In fact, Brown led the league in tackles for most of 2017 before his season ended with a foot injury. 

The healthy part is the trick. 

Last year, Foster separated his shoulder against the Rams in Week 2 and was shut down for the season by October. Brown played through nagging injuries all year before shutting things down in December. 

When both players were on the field, the Redskins defense excelled. In just four starts, Foster made 30 tackles to go with an interception, a fumble recovery and half a sack. Brown logged double-digit tackles in nine games last season, and probably would have more without the foot trouble. 

Foster and Brown are very good in the Redskins scheme, and both players are expected to be fully healthy for the start of training camp. Their injuries from last season are not the type that suggest durability concerns, and both players posted full 16-game seasons in 2016.

Foster and Brown aren't the question. The depth chart after Foster and Brown are the question. 

Zach Vigil, Martrell Spaight, Josh Harvey-Clemons and rookie Shaun Dion Hamilton are competing for two or possibly three roster spots. 

Spaight is the most recognizable name in the group. He's been a good special teams player for Washington, and is well liked in the locker room. By last December, however, Vigil was playing better football. 

More telling for both Vigil and Spaight was that Harvey-Clemons took the starter reps alongside Foster when Brown was absent during OTAs. The second-year man out of Louisville has more physical gifts than either Vigil or Spaight, and now given a full year to learn to play linebacker, Harvey-Clemons could make inroads.

A safety in college, Harvey-Clemons can run. He was a bit of a surprise last season making the 53-man roster out of camp, so expect him to definitely have a shot this year. 

Hamilton will be the wild card. An ultra-talented player out of Alabama, he dealt with a number of injuries in college. Redskins VP Doug Williams talked gushingly about Hamilton after the draft, and if the former 5-Star recruit can stay healthy, he could certainly push for a spot as well. 

Prior to 2017, the Redskins kept four inside linebackers on their final 53 roster. In 2017, the team kept five: Brown, Foster, Spaight, Will Compton and Harvey-Clemons. Compton left via free agency and is now playing in Nashville. 

Foster and Brown are roster locks, and it seems like Harvey-Clemons gets the third nod. 

Spaight, Vigil and Hamilton better be ready for serious competition in Richmond. 

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: What does the future hold?

In this week's mailbag podcast, JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir answer several questions about the Caps' prospects and Hershey.

How does the future look on the farm? Plus, they talk about potential weaknesses, their biggest surprises and more!

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