Eagles' Chip Kelly ready to adjust to the NFL

By Sean Greene 5:15pm, January 17, 2013
VIDEO: Excerpts from Chip Kelly's Press Conference
Chip Kelly says he's ready to adjust to whatever the NFL brings him after being formally introduced as the Philadelphia Eagles' 21st-ever head coach Thursday afternoon.

The 49-year-old went 46-7 in four seasons as the head coach at the University of Oregon, becoming the first coach to lead his team to a BCS bowl in each of his first four seasons, including the 2013 Fiesta Bowl and 2010 BCS National Championship game.

Kelly, became famous in Delaware for his unique formations and quirky plays while acting as Offensive Coordinator at the University of New Hampshire. Some of his gems included lining up to 7 players in an "L" shape and also having quarterbacks throw passes to other quarterbacks.

While at Oregon, Kelly has helped revolutionize the spread-option offense, and Eagles' owner Jeff Lurie says one of the things that impressed him about Kelly was the fact Kelly is already thinking about how people will try to stop him.

"He's somebody who is not only on the cutting edge of football today, but saw that there will be reactions to that, and what to do, going way past that. He's also a program builder."

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Kelly brings a vast offensive resume to Philadelphia, but he actually began his coaching career with a two year stint at Columbia where he worked with the defensive backs, special teams, and linebackers and says it as all added up to a deep knowledge of the game.

"It wasn't totally by design, but I never wanted to get pigeon-holed as a 'this'. I consider myself a football coach. I have a passion for the game, a thirst for the game, and it just helped me."

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There are several questions with the Eagles roster, particularly at quarterback where the team has to decide near year whether to pay the remaining year on Michael Vick's contract, as well as Nick Foles' status as the starting quarterback. Kelly's Ducks played against Foles' Arizona Wildcats and says he was impressive.

"We hit him as many times as we could hit him and he kept getting up and making plays. He completed a 13-yard pass left-handed against us once, and I remember standing on the sidelines shaking my head going 'I don't know what we have to do to stop him.' He's a competitor so I'm excited about that."

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Kelly is in the process of putting together a coaching staff, and has yet to make any decisions on other important items such as whether the Eagles will continue to go to Lehigh for training back as Andy Reid had been doing.

Reid did take time out yesterday after Kelly made his decision to speak with his successor.

"There's a not a classier guy. When Andy texted me yesterday when I accepted the job, I told him I had really, really, really big shoes to fill, and in typical Andy fashion he said just myself and you'll be fine."

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Kelly accepted the position after a back-and-forth with Oregon after the Feista Bowl victory. He met with three teams before deciding to stay, but if you believe the coach, the wavering was at least in part to make sure he made the announcement to his players.

"I wanted to be the first to tell my players. I think a lot of guys want to know how this came out of left field. I want to tell you how impressed I was with both (Eagles' GM) Howie (Roseman) and Jeff (Lurie) that allowed me to do this in a manner that my players found out from me first hand and not something they saw on a twitter account."

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