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.”

WHAT YOU MISSED

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.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

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.

COMING UP

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