What They’re Saying About Kelly And the Eagles

Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles’ hiring of Chip Kelly.

Ashley Fox of ESPN.com says the Birds are rolling the dice:

Because if this doesn’t work — and I’m not saying it won’t, but there is reason to doubt that it will — it will prove once and for all that the Eagles are no gold standard, as Lurie once famously said. And it will be obvious that neither Lurie nor Roseman knows what he’s doing and that the franchise’s run of five NFC title games was due either to former coach Andy Reid, former defensive coordinator Jim Johnson or former president Joe Banner, or all three.

Don Banks of SI.com says the Kelly hire shakes up the NFC East:

But there are plenty of NFL coaches and club executives who believe Kelly will be savvy and flexible enough to adapt his style of up-tempo, wide-open offense to win in the NFL, and that its impact will spread within the league as other teams witness its effectiveness. As one club official told me recently, “If the Patriots are already using some of Kelly’s ideas, you know he’s probably on the right track.”

I’m pretty sure Kiffin, the longtime NFL defensive coordinator just hired by Dallas to replace the fired Rob Ryan, isn’t clicking his heels at the news that Kelly reconsidered and accepted the Eagles offer in the past 24 hours. Kiffin just did a stint as defensive coordinator at USC on his son, Lane’s staff. Kelly’s Oregon Ducks averaged 50 points and 601 yards of offense against Kiffin’s Trojans. Welcome to Dallas, Monte.

Heath Evans of NFL.com is not a fan of the move:

Now that the Philadelphia Eagles have reeled in perhaps the biggest fish on the coaching market, I am going on the record calling Chip Kelly one of the worst hires in pro football history.

Yes, worse than Steve Spurrier, the old ball coach who is one of college football’s top offensive minds ever but who failed miserably in the NFL, going 12-20 in two seasons with the Washington Redskins (2002-03). Kelly, too, is a dynamic college head coach, but what he’s about to bring to the NFL simply won’t work.

Dan Graziano of ESPN.com says it’s a good day for the Eagles:

So you’d better believe that one of the things on Lurie’s mind throughout this process has been the impression the ultimate decision would make among Eagles fans. And in that respect, he’s hit a home run. Kelly was the top college candidate on the market. Based on his collegiate record, Kelly represents energy, innovation and excitement. He has head-coaching experience of which to boast, but no NFL failures that public perception can hold against him. Eagles fans can puff out their chests and proclaim that, of the eight teams that fired head coaches at the end of the season, they were the one that got the top candidate on the market. It’s a fun day to be an Eagles fan, and it’s been a while since that was the case.

Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com looks at whether Kelly is worth the high costs:

How this deal came together doesn’t exactly show the Eagles at their best. This was a flailing, desperate hire. Various league sources say the Eagles caved in terms of money and power. They will deny this, but it’s absolutely true. Kelly got massive say in personnel.

Despite the desperate nature of the move, it’s still the right one. Flailing or not, Kelly is an extremely bright coach. He won’t be able to move his entire offense to the NFL, but he can move sizable chunks of it to the pros. How do I know this? The New England Patriots use some of Kelly’s philosophies to great success.

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com thinks the Eagles have some strong pieces in place to get Kelly started:

The pieces are in place for Kelly’s attack to be very good right away. DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin make for a nice pair of speedy, vertical wide receivers. Running back LeSean McCoy is a versatile fit for a fast-break offense. The offensive line has talented pieces in left tackle Jason Peters, guard Evan Mathis and center Jason Kelce. Yes, fantasy owners of the skill-position players should be excited. Kelly will run more plays per game than normal teams. More plays equals more numbers.

Chris Sprow of ESPN Insider takes a look at the Eagles’ quarterback options. He mentions Matt Flynn as a potential fit:

He’s not a running QB, by definition, but Flynn is more mobile than Foles — Flynn took off 100 times as a senior at LSU — and could be had on the cheap given that the Seahawks would be very interested in unloading his salary for a draft pick since Russell Wilson won’t be losing the starting job any time soon.

Will Brinson of CBSSports.com says Kelly will be one of the league’s most heavily scrutinized coaches:

Everyone talks about the excessive coverage the Jets got in 2012, and it’s an accurate assessment. But let’s not act like people weren’t all over Philly the entire season. Philadelphia is a great sports town, but it’s also a high-profile sports town with, um, energetic fans.

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  • Justin

    I couldn’t read this article because it started with Ashley “There’s No Way The Ravens Will Beat The Super Bowl Bound Broncos” Fox (nickname a work in progress), but I did scroll through and noticed there was nothing from LaCanfora.

  • lefty

    and Lefty From Bryn Mawr states this is a terrible selection. Gimmick coach. Defense an afterthought if any thought at all.

    • laeagle

      What’s the gimmick? Or do you just hear that and are repeating it? What are the specifics of the Oregon attack that are gimmicky?

    • FMWarner

      According to Football Outsiders, Oregon had the 9th ranked defense in college football this year. If you watched any of their games, you’d see they play very good defense. Just because Kelly is an offensive coach doesn’t mean he doesn’t make sure the other side of the ball is taken care of.

      • igglesfaninportlandia

        Actually His Defensive coordinater at Oregon stated that Chip never got involved with the Defense. I’m skeptical and optimistic. I could also see Chip bringing one of his former QBs down from Cnanda. DC will be the key, and oh yeah I hope Vick is gone. Send him to KC for a steak or something.

  • PhillyTeo

    Now next thing to do is to find DC

  • PhillyTeo

    Seems like lovie won’t accept to be a DC so who else we should try to get?

  • laeagle

    “This was a fiailing, desperate hire.”

    “They will deny this, but it’s absolutely true.”

    Well done, Mike Freeman. You’ve joined the storied ranks of “journalists” who spout ill-informed opinions, based on hearsay and a rough understanding of the general group consensus on an issue, instead of researching what you say before you write it.

    I can agree that Chip is a risk, but please, indicate what is risky rather than point to some vague “Oregon won’t work in the NFL” argument. What parts of what Kelly does won’t work? Do you know anything about his actual football philosophies? Or do you just assume that he’ll be trying to fit everything to his current Oregon offense (despite a history running i-formation running attacks, and quotes saying how you have to base your scheme on your personnel)? Do you assume that he runs a generic spread, rather than identify what the actual plays are?

    I get so tired of people spouting off negatively about things they don’t understand. If you want to say something, back it up or shut up.

    • Graham


    • Run Eagles Run

      he was just as much a risk as every other guy on the list, and i was content with gus bradley. you should email that to the bozo you quoted.

  • JofreyRice

    Oooh no!! The Eagles could be as bad as Steve Spurrier’s Redskins, and post a record of 12-20 over the next two years. That would be like…uh, going 12-20 the last two years of Andy Reid’s tenure. I’d listen to what arguments Heath Evans had about why it couldn’t work, but Evans, like any of us, has no idea what Kelly wants to do, other than run an uptempo attack; which is what one of the four teams in the Championship games is doing this coming weekend.

    • Graham

      screw heath evans, guys a joke. Trying to sound like he knows what he’s talking about.

    • Johnathan Birks

      To the Spurrier analogy, he failed because he brought in all his Gators, like Danny Wuerrfel, who couldn’t play at the next level. I don’t see Kelly making that mistake.

    • D3Keith

      Heath offered zero reasoning for why it won’t work. There’s a counter-argument out there, and some people will make it, but just saying “it won’t work” adds nothing and ensures nobody gives a crap about his opinion.

  • REB

    Who can say if this will be a good hire or not? I like that the Eagles have taken a risk. The reality, though, is that ANY new coach was a risk. Do we know that Gus Bradley was a home run? Or Bill O’Brien? Or Lovie Smith? Or Ken Whisenhunt? Go down the whole list of recently hired coaches or people who were in the mix, and they are all risky. Did Whiz leave Arizona in better condition than when he joined them? Was Lovie Smith a smashing success? We know their ceilings. We’re going to find out about Kelly. Could be fun, might be horrible. We don’t know.

    • D3Keith

      We know it’s going to be a ride though. And short of a Super Bowl win, we watch to be entertained.

  • Adrian

    Ah, Heath Evans; that bastion of football knowledge…

  • KeithPetres

    Please no more Ashley Fox quotes. Or at least, put her at the bottom of these articles; or better yet, just a link with no quote.

    “[If this hire doesn’t work] it will be obvious that neither Lurie nor Roseman knows what he’s doing.”

    Lurie has hired two coaches that have been here for 17 years, during which they’ve gotten four Coach of the Year awards. It’s ridiculous to say this one hire decides whether Lurie knows his job. Completely ridiculous. And Roseman’s been top dog for what? One year (to hear Lurie’s press conference).

    Ashley might as well write for Bleacher Report rather than ESPN, not that there’s much of a difference anymore.

    • Yeah. She’s horrible.

    • Absecon

      Agreed! Those comments are consistant with her others…the I have to be tough on Philly because I used to work in Philly approach or no one will take me seriously…those comments are just silly…

  • VTShocker

    Heath Evans obviously hasn’t been watching the Patriots the last few years… not all the aspects will translate but ALOT of it will… Defenses don’t win championships anymore in the NFL… the rules put in place prevent that anymore. It’s an offensive driven league. We need to find a QB that best can fit what he wants to implement. I don’t think that person is on the roster currently, but I don’t believe Matt Flynn is the answer either. I’d like for the team to trade back from #4 as many times as they can, try to get an extra first round pick next year and as many picks in the 2nd this year as possible. There are several QB’s next year who I think would be better fits than Flynn or Foles. Bridgewater, EJ Manuel, Tahj Boyd just to name a few.

    • JofreyRice

      EJ Manuel should be available this year, but I wouldn’t count on him being anything more than a project 3rd string guy. Poor accuracy, and doesn’t read defenses well. Maybe with the right QB coach you could bring him along, but he’s really not a runner, to me, either.

      Boyd is intriguing, and as far as run/pass threat, he would have been the best fit if he came out this year.

      If Teddy Bridgewater continues to develop, he’s going to be one of those really special Andrew Luck/Russell Wilson/RG3/Matt Stafford type players.I doubt the Eagles get at shot at him unless they end up with a record like they just posted. He’s really phenomenal, probably my favorite college QB, as a redshirt sophomore; I thought he surpassed Geno Smith.

      • Vtshocker

        career 67% is hardly poor accuracy… same career accuracy of RG3 and Andrew Luck (I”m not saying he’s that type of player though)… just think he would fit a system Kelly is likely to employ… I’m all about Bridgewater which is why I believe we should trade back as many times with the #4 pick as many times as possible to collect another 2nd rounder or 2 and try to obtain a first next year to have the ammo to go get Bridgewater

    • Wilbert M.

      I’d trade back if Joeckel isn’t there.

  • Johnathan Birks

    Weren’t “they saying” the Eagles FO was in disarray because they COULDN’T land Chip Kelly? It’s comical. Nobody knows whether this is a good hire now — only a season or two of results will tell us that.

  • What head coach is a sure thing? Not one head coach who won a Super Bowl repeated with another team. That includes Holmgren, Parcels, and Johnson. These scribes are hacks who need to write opinions, disguised as expert opinions, based on stupidity.

    • Wilbert M.

      Scott -you are right – its a crap shoot. I’d feel much more comfortable with a coach with NFL experience, but high risk – high reward. Maybe Kelly is the guy to break the mold.

  • GoBirds1

    Not sure if in fact the read option is here to stay in the NFL, Manning, Brees, Brady, Rodgers will, or already have long and productive careers. Can we say the same about RGIII, Wilson, Kaepernick and Newton. Not so sure about that. There is a reason the option was not run in the NFL, its called your franchise QB will get killed. Sure they can dodge the bullet for a while, but it is going to happen. Then what? Look at the Skins and their run. How much longer is RGIII going to be running the read option. What happened to Cam after his rookie season. It is a short lived strategy that is difficult to stop and puts a lot of pressure on opposing defenses, but is it sustainable for more than a season or a playoff run, I doubt it. I prefer a high tempo mobile in the pocket QB philosophy to the read option at this level. Chip and Foles can co-exist, GoBirds!

  • barry_nic

    Wow! Ash what do you really think? For the press who were just talking about how big fish would never land here and how they failed because they didn’t sign Kelly, they sure did an about face. I really want Howie, Jeff, and Kelly to kick butt, because the team will. But now I can’t wait to see how they do in the draft, who they hire to be OC and DC, and for training camp. It’s funny now how they are treating AR like a sage old wizzard who was mistreated and kicked to the side by the evil Jeff Lurie. Andy got total power, and proved he wasn’t up to the task. I will fall over laughing if this thing works, GO EAGLES!!!!

  • I don’t know Kelly was the best candidate for the 8 teams who fired coaches given Andy Reid was unemployed for only a matter of hours. In 14 years Andy had 2 horrible season to point to on his resume. Other than those two years, Andy Reid’s team were a constant force in the NFL Playoffs. That is pretty disrespectful to overlook Andy Reid’s production in the NFL.

    However, there has to be some changes in personnel. Given the skill positions in Philly on offense are set and, the Eagles are best suited for Kelly’s Offense. On Defense he’s going to have to bring in size and speed, SEC Style. That translates in the NFL to fast and big Safeties.

    The Eagles are going to need Peters to come back at 100%, and a comparable Tackle and guard on the other side to make the Kelly Invitational Track Meet perform in Philly as the Oregon Ducks has over the last 4 years.

  • Myke Lowery

    Sheil..with the rumors of Grantham..the switch to 3-4 seems more and more likely? maybe even drafting Jarvis Jones?

  • PaoliBulldog

    Based on Heath Evans’ “logic,” he could just as easily have concluded that Chip Kelly will be a great hire since Tom Coughlin, Bill Walsh and Jim Harbaugh (and Pete Carroll, with an asterisk) transitioned successfully from Saturday games to Sunday games.

  • metaReign

    Lmho…..those media weren’t taken into account the pieces Eagles has on the team, especially when they haven’t chosen any assistance at the moment.

    Unlike recruiting players in college, the draft and UDFA may benefit Kelly in getting the players he needs, long as Roseman understands what he’s looking for.

    This maybe a “high risk/high reward” pandemonium, that’s because the NFL employs only the best professionals. It gives Kelly a chance to divvy up better players, than the college recruiting routes and make something out of nothing.

    I’m not high on Kelly, but what he did with the recruiting at Oregon and breaking them down, he will do the same for the Eagles. This is his way of adapting in the NFL’s trendsetting. I’m sure he’ll be able to break down the 53 man roster and 8 man practice squad in his development. It’s something I’m looking forward to… Go Eagles!!

  • Nick

    Theory on cbssports.com’s recent hate: The Eagles FO is good at keeping secrets, and La Canfora (ever the Internet Explorer to Schefter’s Chrome and yes there’s probably a better comparison than that) was fed up with the Eagles’ smug smarmy secret-keepers (Has La Canfora ever broken an Eagles story?). So he published a hate piece with a grain of truth to it (for example, “sources around the league” could just mean “Clark Judge”). The new hate is just to cover the site’s rear end after the Eagles landed exactly who they wanted. Just a theory, but I like it.

    • Mac

      LaCanfora is a hack job artist at best, and part of the reason I stopped looking at articles on NFL.com. On top of being a hack, he’s almost always anti-Eagles just like Casserly and Lombardi…

  • Name

    Ashley Fox is probably the most biased analyst against Philly. Screw her she is one of the worst analysts there are. She doesn’t know crap. And will some of these stupid analysts open their eyes and realize chips ideas worked in new England