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.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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