The Story Behind the Eagles And Chip Kelly
Here is how the Eagles-Chip Kelly union came to pass:
Jeffrey Lurie, Don Smolenski and Howie Roseman met with Kelly on January 5 at the Four Seasons in Scottsdale, Arizona for a lunch that turned into a nine-hour meeting. The Eagles walked away extremely impressed but were notified the next day that Kelly was staying at Oregon.
The following Tuesday, the Eagles were in Nashville to meet with Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly. That was the site of a college coaches convention and, as it turns out, Chip Kelly was in attendance as well. While at dinner that night, a mutual friend of Roseman and Chip Kelly reached out to say how impressed Kelly was with the Eagles’ brass after his sit-down. Roseman decided to text Kelly in response, and from there the flames were re-kindled.
Casual conversation began to intensify on Saturday while the Eagles were in Atlanta meeting with Gus Bradley. They continued into Sunday and a deal was tentatively struck Tuesday night and finalized Wednesday morning.
According to a source, Chip Kelly and Penn State’s Bill O’Brien were the top two targets heading into the coaching search. O’Brien opted to stay at Penn State. Interestingly enough, Chip never commented publicly after originally deciding to stay at Oregon.
The Eagles were also very impressed with Bradley, and would have offered him the job if Kelly turned them down, I’m told.
Kelly will arrive in Philadelphia Wednesday evening around 6 p.m. and will meet with Lurie, Roseman and Smolenski to talk about, among other things, assembling a coaching staff. A press conference will be held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday to introduce Kelly as head coach.
In terms of power structure, Roseman and Kelly will both have some say on personnel matters. How exactly that is split is expected to be addressed by Lurie Thursday.