INDIANAPOLIS — Chip Kelly had a chance to get his foot in the NFL door before he ever coached a game at Oregon.
Back when Kelly was at New Hampshire, Tom Coughlin and the Giants offered him a quality-control job. But he turned them down. From a July 2012 article in The Oregonian:
When Tom Coughlin dangled a quality control position — a non-specific, do-it-all role generally reserved for novices — with the New York Giants late in Kelly’s tenure here, [New Hampshire head coach Sean] McDonnell told him he had to take it. He’d be crazy not to.
“But he said, ‘I want to coach,’ and Coughlin couldn’t tell him he was going to be a full-time coach,” McDonnell said. “So he turned it down. … He wanted to run the offense.”
Now, Kelly will coach against Coughlin two times a year.
“I know Chip from his days at New Hampshire and the tremendous job he did at Oregon,” Coughlin said Friday at the Combine. “We interviewed him at one point here in New York. He’s done a superior job. He’s an outstanding football coach, and he’s going to make it interesting.”
With Robert Griffin III in Washington and Kelly running the show with the Eagles, the NFC East will likely feature two teams running some version of the read option. Griffin ran for 161 yards on 14 carries (11.5 YPC) in two games against the Giants last year.
Coughlin was asked whether he’s asked defensive coordinator Perry Fewell to go over the read option with a fine-toothed comb this offseason (talking to college coaches, reviewing extra film, etc.).
“You said it as well as I could,” Coughlin said. “Yeah, absolutely. [It’s] right in our division. We’d be foolish not to. We’re doing as much as we can.”
And finally, Coughlin called Andy Reid a friend and acknowledged it’ll be difficult to have him out of the NFC East.
“It’s an unusual thing to say,” Coughlin said. “But to not have him in the division, I’ll miss him.”