Chip Kelly named Eagles coach
The Philadelphia Eagles have announced they will hire Oregon’s Chip Kelly as their new head coach. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen first reported the news on Twitter.
Reports on Twitter say that the deal came together in the last 24 hours and that Kelly was still recruiting for the Ducks on Tuesday. A source told USA TODAY that Kelly had a “change of heart” on Tuesday.
Kelly was believed to be staying with Oregon after interviewing for multiple NFL positions earlier in the offseason. Kelly had interviewed with the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills and the Eagles. Last offseason, Kelly nearly became the coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, backing out at the last minute to stay with the Ducks.
On Jan. 7, the Associated Press and other outlets reported that Kelly had turned down the Eagles after Philadelphia had pushed for the offensive innovator.
The biggest test for Kelly will be adapting his high-tempo offense to the NFL game. The New England Patriots have started using some of Kelly’s methods for quickening the pace, as detailed by the Boston Globe‘s Greg Bedard in October.
Steve Spurrier, another former college offensive guru, struggled during his tenure with the Washington Redskins. But New England’s success makes some believe Kelly has a better chance of lasting in the NFL.
Kelly will need to decide what to do at the quarterback position. Michael Vick struggled this season, completing only 58 percent of his passes and throwing 10 interceptions. He also fumbled 11 times in 10 games. The Eagles could release him this offseason with a relatively small penalty.
Rookie Nick Foles started six games, throwing six touchdowns to five interceptions and showing some promise. It’s unclear whether he would fit well in Kelly’s offense. The Eagles, who pick fourth in the 2013 NFL Draft, could also try to grab someone like West Virginia’s Geno Smith.
For Oregon, one of college football’s most successful programs in recent years, the loss of Kelly three weeks before Signing Day could be a big hit. USA TODAY reported earlier this month that offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich would be in line to replace Kelly if he left. Kelly was 46-7 in his four seasons with Oregon.
Check out the below video from 2010 for an inside look at Chip Kelly’s coaching philosophy.