Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Eagles New Head Coach

Chip Kelly is bringing his sassy fashion sense, and high powered offense, to Philadelphia.

Well that was unexpected.

After a coaching search that was running out of coaching candidates the Philadelphia Eagles went back to the well to hire Chip Kelly as their new head coach. This move comes as a shock as Kelly had spurned the Eagles and a couple of other NFL offers to return to the Oregon Ducks. But, much like his fast moving, mis-direction offense, Kelly changed his field and accepted the job shortly after fan and odds on favorite Gus Bradley was boarding a ship to fly to Jacksonville after the Eagles failed to secure his signature.

I'm sure more details will emerge regarding Kelly's decision. Did he return to the Birds after a change of heart? Did a little birdie whisper some not so great things about impending NCAA sanctions for Oregon? Or, after missing out on Bill O'Brien, Matt McCoy, and Gus Bradley - did Jeffrey Lurie realize that the assorted fired NFL coaches (Ken Whisenhunt, Lovie Smith, and Brian Billick) wouldn't fit his vision so he made a Godfather offer?

Could be a combination of all of these things. Overall, while people are skeptical of Kelly's NFL abilities, time will tell about that. He is a leader of men and he has been successful everywhere he's went (which does not include 1 hour in the NFL). This will be interesting to see how he adapts his offense to the NFL and with the Eagles personnel. There are exciting players on offense like LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown, DeSean Jackson, Dion Lewis, and Jeremy Maclin. However, the quarterback is in flux. I would not expect this to change Michael Vick returning to the fold as there is just too much blood in the water and Vick has proven he's just not a winner.

I could see Kelly staying with Nick Foles in a modified - less option happy offense - until the right player comes along. Along with taking a stab at a speed QB in the late rounds of the draft. There are still a lot of holes that need to be filled on defense and getting the offensive line healthy. Should Geno Smith fall to the Eagles in the first round, it would still be an ill-advised pick.

Hiring a veteran staff around him will also be paramount. The positive about the NFL coaching landscape now is that there are a lot of experienced coaches out there looking for work. Being able to bring on the expertise of a Whisenhunt or Smith would be a huge coup for the first time NFL coach.

With him officially in place, Kelly's NFL experience will be bolting ahead as fast as his Oregon offense. As mentioned, staff will be needed, scouting needs to get underway for the draft (although you'd hope Kelly already has some insights into a lot of the players since he was at Oregon), and he needs to build a strategy around this Eagles team with the goal of getting them winning again soon.

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