Welcome to Philadelphia, Chip! Here is what we know about the Eagles’ new coach:
1. Chip Kelly is widely regarded as an offensive mastermind and innovator, but he broke into the coaching ranks on the defensive side of the ball as secondary coach at Columbia.
2. His reputation blossomed at New Hampshire, where he was offensive coordinator. Teams averaged more than 400 yards and 30 points per game.
3. In his second season at Oregon, the Ducks set school records for total touch-downs (71) and also for rushing touchdowns (47).
4. He’s not afraid to run the ball (hint, hint). Since 2008, Oregon boasted the best ground
attack in the Pac-12, running at a clip of 280.1 yards per game, with two players hitting the 1,000-yard mark.
5. He possesses some kind of mind control over Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. Kelly’s squads averaged 601 yards and 50 points against Kiffin’s USC defenses.
6. On a personal note, Kelly is 49 years old, single and has no children. With no family to worry about, he eats, sleeps and drinks football.
7. He has no NFL experience, none. There has only been one coach in history to turn college
success into NFL glory without previous NFL?experience — Jimmy Johnson (Dallas, Miami).
8. He visited Patriots coach Bill Belichick during the 2012 offseason to explain principles of his zone-read option offense. New England’s new hurry-up look ranked No. 1 in total yards (6,846) and points per game (34.8) this season.
9. He gushed about Eagles QB Nick Foles after Oregon beat Arizona in 2011. “I catch myself watching him in awe sometimes,” Kelly told the Tucson Citizen newspaper at the time.
10. Not that it should matter, but Oregon reporters say Kelly can be short and use one-word answers. (Sound familiar?) But his replies are often funny and referred to as “Chipisms.”
Eagles players, analysts buying into Kelly hype
While many Eagles fans seem divided on Chip Kelly, his new players are anxious to get to work. Many current Eagles flocked to Twitter or hit the interview circuit Wednesday to express their excitement over the hire.
“He’s a brilliant mind. We have a lot of weapons on the Eagles that kind of assimilates to what he was doing at Oregon,” said center Jason Kelce.
“He’s a successful person,” said defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins. “He’s had a lot of success and anytime you have somebody like that and his desire, he’s going to do whatever it takes for us to be as
successful here as well.”
Much has been made about Kelly’s up-tempo offense, which averaged a play every 20.9 seconds at Oregon. Will it work in the NFL? New England, a team that adopted some of Kelly’s principles this past offseason, led the NFL at 24.9 seconds.
“Anybody who says Chip Kelly’s offense won’t work in the NFL, they really don’t know Chip Kelly as a person,” said NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi. “He’ll adapt to the pro game.”