Posted January 16, 2013 on
AP on Fox
New England Patriots
New York Giants
Torn between loyalty to his players and accepting a new challenge, Chip Kelly ultimately chose the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles.
He just needed more time to make the decision.
''The hardest thing for me to do was to leave Oregon,'' Kelly said Thursday at a news conference introducing him as the 21st coach in team history. ''I knew it was a great fit, but it was whether I could leave what I have. I love those guys and it had to be a special place for me to leave.''
The Eagles hired Kelly on Wednesday, giving him a five-year contract and ending an exhaustive search to replace Andy Reid. The offensive innovator was lured away from Oregon, where he went 46-7 in four seasons and turned the program into a national powerhouse.
From the start, Kelly appeared to be Philadelphia's top choice. But two days after a nine-hour meeting in Arizona with owner Jeffrey Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman and president Don Smolenski, Kelly chose to stay at Oregon.
The Eagles continued interviewing other candidates, and were close to offering the job to Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley on Tuesday night -- FOX Sports.com's Jay Glazer reported Bradley was hired by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday. But Kelly changed his mind after thinking harder about making the move and talking to several people, including Reid who quickly moved on to become Kansas City's coach.
''I knew this was the best spot, but there's so much more to it,'' Kelly said. ''What happens when I leave? Who becomes the next head coach? What happens to those players? You're not making reservations for dinner. You are changing not only your life, but a lot of other people's lives.''
Kelly said he became emotional when he told players in a meeting that he was leaving, and added that he cried more than they did.
He went from a warm and fuzzy environment in Eugene, Ore. to a hero's welcome in the city of Brotherly Love.
Fans greeted him at the airport when his plane arrived in Philadelphia on Wednesday night and a sign reading ''Our Chip's Come In'' was hung on two trees outside the team's practice facility on Thursday morning. A few fans drove down Pattison Avenue honking their horns to salute the hiring.
''It's a really exciting time for me. It was a difficult decision. There's not many opportunities to coach in the National Football League, and every one of them is special,'' Kelly said. ''But this is an iconic franchise with an outstanding owner. I knew what this place was all about, and this is where I wanted to be. It was just a matter of figuring out how to do it the right way.''
The Eagles interviewed 11 candidates in slightly more than two weeks. While fans became anxious waiting for a new coach, the team emphasized a patient approach.
Perhaps they were waiting for Kelly to reconsider.
''The key was to find the right leader, not make the fastest decision,'' Lurie said. ''We never took `No' as a full `No.' We knew he was torn. And we knew there was no competition for Chip. It was just, did he want to stay or did he want to come to us?''
Though Kelly has no previous NFL experience, the Eagles are banking on him to turn around a franchise that has just 12 wins in the last two years and zero playoff victories since 2008.
''Chip is a trendsetter,'' Roseman said. ''People are following him. He's not a disciple of anyone. When you are trying to find greatness, you have to find the people on top.''
Kelly built quite a reputation for being one of the sharpest football minds in college while leading Oregon to four consecutive BCS bowl games -- including a bid for the national championship against Auburn two seasons ago -- and three conference championships.
Some aspects of his hurry-up, spread offense are used by New England and Washington. Patriots coach Bill Belichick even brought Kelly in to get advice on his offensive philosophy.
But Kelly has a challenge in Philadelphia. His flash-and-dash offense needs a leader under center. Nick Foles, a third-round pick last year who replaced Michael Vick, is a dropback quarterback who said himself that he doesn't fit Kelly's zone-read style
Vick, who will be 33 when the season starts, isn't coming back for the $16 million he's scheduled to make next year. The Eagles have to make a decision on giving him a roster bonus of $3 million within three days after the Super Bowl.
''I haven't watched even film to make any decision on anybody,'' Kelly said, adding that he's a ''huge fan'' of Foles.
Kelly also talked about adapting his system to fit the players on the team, a quality that impressed Roseman in their first interview.
''When you meet with Chip, you realize very quickly that Chip is not about whether his offense is going to translate to the NFL,'' Roseman said. ''It's about his vision for a program, it's about how he sees the entire aspect of a football organization and Jeffrey outlined in that first press conference: I want a leader, I want a presence, and so if you had any doubt about Chip Kelly's offense, you left and said this isn't about Chip Kelly and the spread, this is about how Chip Kelly approaches football, and that was incredibly, incredibly impressive.''
The Eagles were 3-1 this season after a 19-17 win over the New York Giants on Sept. 30. They then lost 11 of their last 12 games to finish in last place in the NFC East. Reid was fired the day after the season ended, ending a 14-year tenure in which he won more games than any coach in franchise history and went to the playoffs nine times, including five conference championship games.
But the Eagles are still seeking their first Vince Lombardi Trophy and first NFL title since 1960.
''We have one goal, and that's to get to the Super Bowl,'' Kelly said. ''It's not an `I' deal, it's a `we' deal. Our players will understand that.''
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
I guess it worked out with the Philadelphia Eagles after all. Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly is going to the NFL, and not staying in college football. So you’ll get to see the quack attack in action at the college level no more. Kelly re-emerged as a candidate recently and an agreement was just reached Wednesday There is a concern of NCAA sanctions coming in Eugene, OR. But...
The Philadelphia Eagles have hired Chip Kelly after he originally chose to stay at Oregon.
Kelly becomes the 21st coach in team history and replaces Andy Reid, who was fired on Dec. 31 after a 4-12 season.
Kelly, who was 46-7 in four years at Oregon, interviewed with the Eagles, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills after leading the Ducks to a victory over Kansas State in the Fiesta...
The Philadelphia Eagles announced today that they will hire Chip Kelly as their new head coach. This comes as a surprise to many, as it appeared that Kelly was staying at Oregon. Perhaps the looming sanctions made him nervous again.
We’re all interested to see how Chip Kelly’s offense will translate to the NFL, and all of the talking head are paid to give an opinion on it, but...
Oregon coach Chip Kelly will be named the new head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles after the taem's three-week search, ESPN.com reported Wednesday. The Eagles reached an agreement with Kelly on Wednesday morning, according to the report. Philadelphia had interviewed Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley on Tuesday, and he was believed to be one of the front...
Will the Eagles fans be ok with having a head coach named Chip?
Well Eagles fans are all excited (well most of them) about the hiring of Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly. The honeymoon starts now and will last for a while or at least until the first loss of 2013, but for now all is looking Rosie in Eagleland.
The first thing I wondered about when I heard who the Eagles had hired...
Chip Kelly is the new coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, according to league sources. No announcement yet.
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) January 16, 2013
Well, over the past few weeks we’ve had time to wonder about the accuracy of those rumors that Oregon Ducks coach Chip Kelly, who had turned down several NFL coaching offers over the past few years, was waiting for the Patriots...
Wednesday, January 16, 2013---around noon EST--- the Eagles fired a PR email into our inbox:
EAGLES HIRE CHIP KELLY AS 21st HEAD COACH
Gasp!!! Eeeeek! (ahem)....
Here's the text of the official Eagles release:
"Chip Kelly, known for possessing strong leadership skills and one of the most innovative minds in football...
The Philadelphia Eagles introduced Chip Kelly as their new coach on Thursday as they hope to turn around their fortunes with the offensive innovator in charge. Kelly, the team's 21st head coach, replaces Andy Reid. Kelly went 46-7 in four seasons as Oregon's coach and attracted attention from NFL teams because of his high-powered offense. The Eagles interviewed 11 candidates...
After spending time earlier in January flirting with the NFL it was assumed that Oregon head coach Chip Kelly was staying in Eugene. He wasn't being named for any of the jobs still up for grabs, but now it appears he is off to the NFL after all.... at least according to Jay Glazer.
Yes I can confirm Chip Kelly is going to Eagles.
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) January...
Chip Kelly, you have some big shoes to fill. No, really. I mean, have you seen Andy Reid? You made the Oregon Ducks relevant in football, which is no easy feat. But here’s what you should know. Fans in Oregon deal with a disappointment by crying in the stadium at the end of the season. Fans in Philadelphia deal with disappointment by throwing battery acid on you. Good luck...
(Eds: With AP Photos.) By TIM DAHLBERG AP Sports Columnist Chip Kelly made his bones as a football coach by doing things fast.
By most standards, though, his leap into the NFL was agonizingly slow.
The Philadelphia Eagles finally got their man Wednesday when Kelly reversed course and agreed to replace the fired Andy Reid. The news came as a shock to most in Oregon, where Kelly...
Sports blew up on social media this week. Chip Kelly left the confines of Autzen Stadium, where it never rains, and went to Philadelphia, where it’s always sunny. Then the world find pointed a collective finger at Manti Te’o and told him he’s a big fat phony.
The Internet – or at least my version of it – nearly ran out of space with people spouting off their expert...
While the college football world was caught up in Manti Te’o fake-girlfriend-hysteria on Wednesday, the real story (no pun intended) in the sport came 2,000 miles in Eugene, Ore., where one of the best coaches in the game walked out the back door on an emerging dynasty. In the least surprising news of the off-season, which just so happened to come at the most surprising of times...
You can't fault anyone for pursuing a dream, but Kelly could have exited in a more graceful manner.
A coach who built a 46-7 record with meticulous planning and bold execution pulled a clumsy zone read keeper in the end, negotiating with NFL teams over a long weekend after the Fiesta Bowl win, calling Sunday January 7 to assure Athletic Director Rob Mullens he was remaining...
New Eagles head coach Chip Kelly had a change of heart, and decided that he could contend in the NFL, and that he really did want the job in Philadelphia.
Many will question and wonder what made Kelly change his mind and decide to take the Eagles job. Former head coach and current NBC Analyst Tony Dungy was on the Dan Patrick Show this morning, and according to Pro Football Talk...