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Chip is All In
- Updated: January 18, 2013
The excitement for Philadelphia Eagles football is back. On Wednesday, January 16th, the Philadelphia Eagles and owner Jeff Lurie made a huge step in a new era of Eagles football by hiring former Oregon Ducks head coach, Chip Kelly.
Thursday, the Philadelphia Eagles introduced Chip Kelly as the 21st head coach in franchise history.
As Chip Kelly faced the Philadelphia media for the first time, Kelly seemed to be very open minded, personable, down to earth, and had a good sense of humor while he spoke for over 35 minutes at his press conference. When he was asked about going back into college football he said, “I’m all in. I’ve burned the boats and I’m not going back. I am an NFL coach and this is where I want to be.”
Coming into the season, Kelly has a lot of roster changes to make. The biggest decision would have to be with the quarterback position.
Whether it’s Michael Vick or Nick Foles, it will be a difficult choice to make. As a rookie last season, Nick Foles only won one game. At 33 years old, Michael Vick has shown he is injury prone. This upcoming season, Vick is scheduled to make $15.5 million dollars. Is he really worth that much of an investment? Including the quarterbacks, Chip Kelly had this to say about his roster, “I’m going to look at everyone, and look at everything we can do to put the best product on the field. There’s nobody ruled in, and there’s nobody ruled out at this point in time.”
Chip Kelly has never coached in the NFL, but has been very successful at the college football level. In the previous four years as head coach of the Oregon Ducks, he has gone 46-7. In each of those years, he has taken the Ducks to four BCS bowl games.
At the beginning of the coaching search to replace Andy Reid, the Eagles met with Kelly for over nine hours. At the end of that meeting, the Eagles were very happy and gave Kelly the sense that he was there guy. Even though the meeting went great, Kelly told owner Jeffrey Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman, and the Philadelphia Eagles organization that he was going to stay at Oregon. Even though he told the Eagles he would stay, Howie Roseman told Chip Kelly to continue to think about the offer to be the Eagles next head coach. For Kelly, it was the matter of the known versus the unknown. If he stayed at Oregon, the program would continue to succeed and he would still be able to carry on the relationships he has built with his staff and players. By taking the Eagles offer, he would engage in a situation were he didn’t know the people or organization. After returning to Oregon, he continued to think about the Eagles offer. Within the last 36 hours, the Eagles heard Chip Kelly had a change of heart.
Chip Kelly wanted to be the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles all along. Apparently his initial challenge in taking the position was leaving those relationships he built at Oregon. He wanted to look into the eyes of the players and coaches that he has grown to love. He wanted to let them know first about his decision to leave Oregon. In leaving his players and staff, Chip Kelly said, “It was just a matter of figuring out how to do it the right way.”
It’s not just exciting for the fans of Philadelphia, but it’s exciting for Chip Kelly as well, “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. 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.”