Looks like Chip Kelly will be wearing a different shade of green this next upcoming football season. The Philadelphia Eagles have officially announced the hiring with a press conference schedule for Thursday but the news came through Twitter earlier by many insiders including Chris Mortensen that the Eagles have hired Chip Kelly as their new Head Coach.
First and foremost, as soon as I read that Gus Bradley was on his way to Jacksonville after a second interview with the Eagles, I was going to write about this exhaustive search for a head coach. It seemed as though the Eagles were interviewing everyone available for this job. I didn’t mind it. After all, the interviews to the 11 (maybe more) coaches were essentially 11 meetings to talk about and study this roster with 11 different set of eyes. It’s not about getting their man first; it’s about getting the right man.
As it turns out, Chip Kelly was their man. At first it was some secret meeting that took place after his bowl game, and then it was Kelly going back to Oregon and declining any job offers. Finally, today news broke out that he indeed signed with the Eagles, a move that has surprised everyone who follows this team.
I thought it was going to be Gus Bradley, current Defensive Coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks. Why wouldn’t I after hearing about the extensive second interview that seemed to last all day Tuesday. But from the looks of it, the Eagles front office were in contact with Kelly these past couple of weeks and finally got him to sign.
Was this a good signing? He hasn’t even had his first press conference yet but I’m sure questions will start to arise on how Kelly will fare in the NFL. I’m not going to pretend like I know anything about the candidates that were interviewed for the job, especially the college coaches. But what I do know is the names I were excited for the most were Chip Kelly’s and Gus Bradley’s.
Chip Kelly has a smart football mind. This I know is true. I also know that the question of whether or not the Oregon style offense could work in the NFL is a silly one. If the assumption that Kelly is a great offensive coach is true, then we must also assume that he’s capable of adapting and finding ways to tweak his ideas for it to work in the professional league. I don’t expect the Eagles to suddenly turn into the NFL’s version of the Oregon Ducks. That’s crazy. The personnel doesn’t necessarily fit and, again, it would contradict the idea that Kelly is a smart football coach.
So now what? Well now we see who fills in the rest of the coaching staff. Does he clear house and bring in his own people? Is Ken Whisenhunt a candidate for the offensive coordinator job? What about Michael Vick at quarterback? How does he fit in Kelly’s plans? The next couple of weeks are going to be interesting to say the least. By far, his hiring is the most fascinating and exciting hiring of the offseason. I can’t wait to see whether or not Chip Kelly strikes out and goes back to college as Peter King alluded to in this tweet “Hope for Philly's sake Kelly's all in--and won't turn tail+run like Saban or Petrino back to college football womb when things get tough.” or if Kelly finds success and actually brings a Lombardi trophy to Philadelphia once and for all.