Eagles Wake-Up Call: Players React To Chip Hire

If you play offense for the Eagles, chances are you are pretty pumped right about now.

Fast break. High-octane. Dreams of stats, points, and more stats.  The Chip Kelly attack is coming Philadelphia.

“I’m real excited,” said Brent Celek in a phone conversation with Birds 24/7. “It’s obvious from his track record in college how good he was. I’m excited to see how it translates and for us to play well.”

The “how it translates” factor is obviously a really big deal. Whether Kelly’s  scheme and theories will work at the highest level of professional football is the great unknown. But in this moment the slate is clean and there is time to swim in some optimism.

“I’m excited,” added Jason Kelce. “Offensively he’s a brilliant mind. We have a lot of weapons on the Eagles that kind of assimilate what he was doing at Oregon. We have a lot to work with on the offensive side of the ball.”

Another reason to be positive about the Kelly hire if you are an Eagles offensive lineman is that your new head coach might like you just the way you are. Howard Mudd preferred leaner, athletic linemen and there was some concern about whether the new coach’s vision would match with the personnel up front. Kelce doesn’t seem to think that will be an issue.

“For me it works out better. I can probably stay where I’m at [weight-wise],” he said. “The no-huddle, zone blocking scheme is something I am used to. It benefits me to be in this scheme.”

There are so many unknowns that come with this hire. Will his offense work? Will his lack of NFL experience hurt him? Who will play quarterback? It goes on and on, and will make this team fascinating to cover and to follow.

Whether it ultimately works out is to be determined. But there’s no denying that there is a new energy in place.

“Anytime you bring in a new coach it is a fresh start,” said Kelce. “You get to start over from scratch and build the team up again.”


Here is how the Kelly-Eagles union came to pass.

Major question to tackle: What will Kelly do at quarterback?

Sheil gives you some essential reading on the former Oregon coach.

Jeffrey Lurie says of Kelly: “He will be a great leader for us.”

Kelly lands in Philly and addresses the gathered media.

The national media, as you might suspect, has a lot to say about this hire.


Aaron Fentress of the Oregonian reflects on Kelly’s run of success at Oregon.

Six years later, Chip Kelly leaves Eugene for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles as one of the nation’s most highly respected football coaches after pushing the Ducks’ program to a once-unthinkable perch among college football’s elite.

A competitive innovator with a laser-like eye for detail and a gift for teaching, Kelly ascended to head coach in March 2009 and quickly expanded on the success of his predecessor, Mike Bellotti, driving the Ducks to four BCS berths in his four seasons at the helm. Yet, he also leaves with the specter of NCAA sanctions hanging over Eugene, penalties that ultimately could taint his legacy but only the most severe of which would erase the impact he had on Oregon’s sports culture.

“He’ll win a Super Bowl,” [Pat] Kilkenny said. “I don’t think there’s any doubt about it.”

Tommy Lawlor takes on the quarterback question:

Will Michael Vick be the QB?  I don’t think so.  Chip is a demanding coach that puts a ton of pressure on his QBs.  They must make the right reads in the run game.  They must make the right reads in the passing game.  All sacks are blamed on the QB.  Chip has high standards and will not settle for less.

Vick has been a running QB, but that doesn’t mean he’s been a good decision-maker while running the option.  Those are two different things.  Vick isn’t an ideal decision-maker in the passing game.  He also takes too many sacks and turnovers have been an issue for years.

Maybe Chip will want him.  Possible.  I just think it is unlikely.  And the real key here is money.  Vick would have to take a major pay cut before the discussion about keeping him could even take place.  I don’t know if Vick will do this.

Greg Couch of Fox Sports raises some questions about Kelly’s decision to head to the NFL:

But when your head goes up into the clouds, the way his did when NFL teams came calling, sometimes it’s hard to go back to work. After he turned down the Eagles, he had to come back to recruiting, the part of the job few coaches enjoy, and some resent.

On top of that, Oregon already knows it violated NCAA rules under Kelly, making payments to a Texas street agent, Will Lyles, whose job was to get recruits to go to Oregon. It was a storyline reported heavily by Yahoo! Sports, among others.

Did Kelly just run from the NCAA? That was not likely the biggest reason, or he would have taken the job in the first place. But it had to matter. Oregon could be banned from the postseason next season.


Kelly’s press conference at 1:30. We’ll have everything covered for you.

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  • dislikedisqus

    I’m not excited even if 2 players are. He doesn’t know much about the NFL and doesn’t have a staff. His learning curve will be steep. This hire means rebuild and likely a losing season in 13. This isn’t the 49ers with a roster of best available players. This team needs not only him to live up to the hype but 2 good drafts in 13 & 14 to be a contender. I’m a long way from excited.

    • Rellihcs

      Ok, I think those are some valid points. Except “his learning curve will be steep” – you can predict but that sounds like fortune telling to me. And as far as the turnaround – so what alternative coach would turn things around faster? The team as it was left by Banner, Reid, Washburn, Morningweig etc…. is what dicates the validity of your second to last sentence, not Chip Kelly. Now, accepting that, I’d rather have a guy who NFL coaches think is a brilliant, creative, flexible, competitive mind, than a guy whose only comparable difference is “nfl experience”.

      • Graham

        Great point… Kelly is fresh and new, and we all know he will be working his ass off to make this thing right. Did you hear the guy’s single? I know that’s not a big deal but it does kind of display the dedication he has to football, he’s a junkie that eats and sleeps football, I’m excited…… Just need him to put together a proper staff with some experience on the D side or something

      • dislikedisqus

        By learning curve, I mean 1) he has to start from scratch evaluating his roster. How long that takes Idk. 2) There are approx 750 starters in the NFL and he has not seen 90% of them play in the past two years. 3) 13 times next season when he coaches against a team, it will be the first time. How many years of tape is he going to watch of each opponent to get up to speed? There is just a lot of knowledge he doesn’t have.

        He may be the right guy or the wrong guy in the long run, my mind is open. I wish him the best and I don’t have a brief for anyone else. I am just being realistic that it will likely be a while before anyone can say with confidence that this is a contender. Until then, I can’t get excited.

    • The Guru

      I completely agree. People are underestimating how much of a change and culture shock it is moving from college to to the NFL. I don’t care how “innovative” you are, it’s a completely different game. And if you look back at history over the last 25 years, college coaches with no NFL experience have not just been bad, they’ve been historically bad. Spurrier had just as much clout and was considered even a bigger “innovator”…..But, I’m sure Chip Kelly is going to be the exception!

      • Graham

        Hopefully. All about the staff he puts together…. Hopefully Vick is released by the end of the week

        • Johngiam

          Howie is such a misguided fool! He was looking for the next great innovator, instead of looking for the next mike Tomlin who happened to be sitting in Lurie’s mansion two days ago. if only howie didn’t have cell phone reception that Night Lol. Howie will either prove to be a genius, or this move will end up ruining his career. No point in crying ver spilled milk, Chip is the guy, nothing to do but put your eagles visor on and board the chip ship…but I do believe this was a mistake. Oh well, time to get behnd your team. Go eagles!

          • Graham

            Agreed… I mean who knows right? Chip Kelly could turn out to be better than Gus, who knows. It’s all about the staff he puts together, and many sources are pointing to Georgia’s DC which makes me mad, as I would have liked them to go for a well respected DC like Horton or Lovie…. but hey this Grantham guy has plenty of NFL experience, maybe he will be a good fit…

          • What makes you think Tomlin would consider leaving one of the storied franchises in NFL History to link up with the Eagles? If Tomlin was at Luries, he was discussing trade value for Vick.

      • Saban and Spurrier crapped out, but Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer did better than well adapting to the Pro Game in Dallas. Both won Super Bowls.

        The Patriots aren’t having much trouble with portions of Kellys Offense. There are a number of new coaches using various versions of the Spread Offense finding success in the league.

        • The Guru

          The only piece the Pats are using are the hurry up aspects. They run nothing that resembles a spread option. Jimmy Johnson was 25 yrs ago and he was helped by the most lopsided trade in the history of sports.

    • Kimbafuzz

      I’m not excited at all. The lack of NFL experience bothers me greatly.

      • Graham

        Jim Harbaugh had a little bit of NFL assistant experience, Carroll had head coaching experience in the NFL, this guy has NOTHING… it is something that will bother all of us fans and if the team starts out 0-5 it will be magnified and put on the front page

        • Little Bit, Harbaugh, John won Special Teams Coach of the year when he was with the Eagles, he spent 5 years in that position. Harbaugh was well established when he interviewed for the Ravens job, he had actually accomplished something and been league wide recognized for his work.

          What’s Bradley been recognized for so far in his brief career? in 2011 his defense was no better than Juan’s Eagle defense statically.

          • MAC

            Yet this year he had the #1 scoring defense in the league. Even though all the fans say that this is now a passing league and offense is what the league is headed to he held teams to under 15.5 pts a game. I hope I am wrong about Kelly but I am pretty sure that Bradley and Amdy Reid will win more games than Chip Kelly will in next 3 seasons. I hope not bc I do not want to be right about kelly. I just hate the idea of a small fast team. He runs the hurry up and stated I do not care about time of possession I care about # of plays. This will get your defense tired being on field all game and if you need guys with endurance that means you need smaller guys. That is my concern. Not his system, but his philosophy. That is trying to win in this league different than it has been done for last 75 years. Small lineups and tired defense in a league where the last 7 minutes of game decide almost every important game is a recipe for disaster. Oh well nothin we can do now. I will always stick with my team, but this is exactly what scares me.

          • Anthony Dunleavy

            thats why he has depth on his team… i just fixed your whole entire problem

          • Then you sound to young to remember when the Offensive Linemen were platooning in the NFL. Tackles and Guards used to bring in offensive plays. Player rotation is important to maximizing effort, especially in a passing league with the defensive front.

            I’ve seen nothing in Bradley that indicates he has the skills to turn Jacksonville around. His defense in 2011 was par with Juan’s Eagles Defense, which in my opinion in no way justifies the interest in him as a head coach in the NFL.

      • Those were some of the concerns when Lurie hired Andy Reid in 1999

        • MAC

          Not true Reid had NFL experience coaching as Packers QB coach. If you mean head coaching experience I agree. I am not a fan at all of hiring, but no point in staying upset. By the way when JohnGiam said Tomlin was at Lurie house he was saying Gus would have been next Tomlin. I just know that I completely disagree with this hire and will back my team no matter what. However the news he is going to hire the Georgia DC is makes this me worry way more. The Georgia DEF coord, was in the NFL as d coordinator for Cleveland from somewhere between 2004-2006 or something and never had a defense higher than 16th. Also he is the guy who in SEC championship knows going in Alabama is going to run all day and had no answers for it. They ran all over Georgia and I think that with limited NFL experience on defensive side as well that is a recipe for disaster. I am trying to feel better but it’s hard. Only way that this could get worse is they keep Vick. If that happens then I am sure Kelly does not understand the NFL. Hope that at least he knows better than to waste another second with Vick on the Eagles.

  • Absecon

    Very pumped on the hire! I don’t care if it takes a couple years for this guy to figure it out and get back to what the city wants, which is an exciting team that contends for the division and playoffs consistently. We had that for a while, but AR’s time and style caught up with him, as it does everywhere eventually. Lurie swung for the fence, asked the hotest girl on campus to the prom,…yada, yada, yada,..which is what we all want to be doing in our own lives! I commend Lurie for looking to the future, not the past, and going for it!

  • borntosuffer

    I have to admit that Chip was not my first choice. I was feeling pretty good about Gus. For a team that many were saying was not a desirable place to coach – no franchise qb, don’t want to work for Howie – they got THE guy others couldn’t land. They also appeared to be set to go with Gus otherwise, who I would have preferred to any of the other coaching hires thus far. Well, let’s see how he fills out his staff and molds the team. One thing for sure, it will be interesting to watch.

    • BlindChow

      Gus just got hired by the Jaguars, so it’ll be interesting to see how they compare over the next few years…

    • Great to see Gus get a chance in Jax, I hope he can turn that franchise around. I hate seeing preferential bottom feeders in this league. Unless it’s the Raiders.

  • Andy

    How is the team going to handle conditioning? Doesn’t seem like a tough training camp will be enough time to elevate NFL players to the level of fitness necessary to run this up-tempo offense, with all the rules limiting the amount of practice they can have. Especially with much of the O-line coming back from injuries.

    • Reyco

      Every practice he runs is as high paced as the games. Previous players said they didn’t have to condition as practice was enough. Having less practice shouldn’t be an issue as the players now know who their coach. They’re professionals and will tailor their off season training to fit what they imagine will be expected of them if they want to keep their jobs.

      • Graham

        Good post, players will be putting in their share as well.. hopefully they are highly highly highly motivated by this guy. They say he is quite the leader and players coach, so that seems very plausible.

        • MAC

          I will see if he can lead men that make more than he does and have a serious ego bc of there money and fame. Players respect guys who know what they went through like ex NFL players and long time NFL coaches. This guy is neither. Hopefully he hires a defensive coordinator who has been succesful in this league. oh wait Georgia def coordinator is who he wants and he was the BROWNS def coordinator for 3 years between like 2003-6 and never had a def ranked higher than 19th. Sounds like a plan. Yea we will probably cchange the entire way franchises operate that win championships and Kelly will be known as the guy who changed the way it worked for last 75 years. So glad we are smarter than everyone else, Oh wait the Browns wanted him also so the Browns and us are the ones who saw this coming.
          ****Sarcasm if can’t figure it out!!!******

    • Any player worth is salt should come into training camp in top shape, if there is any doubt, a public loud cutting from the team would set the correct tone. When players are out of shape that is a clear indication of lack of discipline in that player. Public humiliation should correct that problem, especially for veterans or anyone with more than 2 years.

      • Pathetic1

        You apparently have no leadership skills at all.

        • If staying on a grown man to come to work prepared is an indication of leadership, you’re right. It’s to easy and more productive to the unit to fire him. At any point you’re not prepared to do your job you are a drain to the entire project.

    • MAC

      Yea that style of offense will kill our defense. In college it’s fine bc your team is up by 20 pts and have so much more talent than other 3/4 of the teams on your schedule. In NFL where every important game comes down to last 7 minutes it will be bad news to have your defense worn down. It also means smaller personnel due to conditioning demands and to me that is a huge concern. I do not hate his offense scheme as much as I hate this philosophy of speed, smaller players, and offense being viewed as more important than defense. If you believe that running hurry up like this which affects your defense then you are making sacrafices on defense bc you have to expect guys on defense to be tired since out on field way more often. I can’t ask for a worse case scenario to build another smaller defense with small speedy guys for endurance. This is not college guys that are smaller get hurt more and when players are fatigued they make mistakes and get injured. Sounds like the opposite of what a franchise like Steelers or Giants would run. Hey but what do those teams know about winning a championship. Wow I want to get behind this and I will have to bc I bleed green, but I just think were trying to win a super bowl diffrently than it has ever been done. Seems like a bad recipe.

  • hillbillybirdsfan

    Time to hop on the Chip Ship. Potential? Lots. Risks? Lots. Let’s see what the guy is all about.

  • 1972

    i dont want celek chiming in. He should be gone by 2014. Played terrible this season and he cant block

    • peteike

      Totally agree. We need some new TEs, I also thought his speed declined a half step, hes barely open when he gets the ball most of the time.

    • Celek has been and will continue to be the offensive line weakest link. He has wooden hands, and can’t hold a block down field.

      • MAC

        Wow you dislike Celek? I admit last year not his best, but before that has been very good. He led team in receptions with mcNabb and you do not catch over 70 passes with wooden hands. Yea pretty good reasoning.

        • Celek doesn’t come close to comparing or productivity of the better tight ends in the league, he’s not even one of the best in his 4 team division.

  • Anthony Dunleavy

    i want to know what desean thinks tbh. im really excited to see how this hire benefits him maclin and mccoy – and we havent heard from any of them