The Eagles got their man. It’s really just that simple.
From the moment Jeffrey Lurie and the front office launched their “no stone unturned” mission to find a new head coach, one name towered atop that wish list. That name was Chip Kelly and Wednesday that name was picked to be the new Eagles next head coach. He’ll be introduced at a press conference Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in South Philadelphia.
“Chip Kelly will be an outstanding head coach for the Eagles,” said Lurie. “He has a brilliant football mind. He motivates his team with his actions as well as his words. He will be a great leader for us and will bring a fresh energetic approach to our team.”
The story goes that Kelly phoned the Eagles at 10 a.m. Wednesday to inform them he was set to leave Oregon and accept the job. This coming 10 days after he rejected their initial, overly aggressive advances. Despite interviewing other candidates — and less than 24 hours after flying in Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley for a six-hour interview — GM Howie Roseman kept in contact with Kelly, letting him know he was still their top choice. Finally, Kelly was persuaded.
“It’s a very difficult decision for me,” Kelly told an Oregon TV station. “The challenge obviously is exciting for me, but it’s an exciting time [and] it’s a sad time.”
Will Vick return to run offense?
As soon as Chip Kelly accepted the offer, all questions focused on the future of Mike Vick.
Kelly’s zone-read offense, if he even intends to run it here, requires an athletic, mobile quarterback, someone like Vick. But will the Eagles keep him? Vick is due $15.5 million or he can be released at no cost before Feb. 6. Nick Foles doesn’t appear to be a viable option, unless Kelly is willing to adapt his system. Of course, the Eagles could choose to address the position in the NFL Draft, maybe West Virginia’s Geno Smith will drop to them at pick No. 4.
Kelly went on record in early January saying that he would adapt to his personnel.
“There’s a lot of great offenses out there, but does it fit with the personnel you have?,” Kelly said at the time. “I think the key is being sure what you’re doing is giving your players the chance to be successful.”