HighPhive.net’s Staff Thoughts on the Eagles hiring Chip Kelly

Chip Kelly has arrived as the new Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach.Earlier today the Philadelphia Eagles announced Chip Kelly as the new Head Coach for the team. The contract details have not yet been disclosed but there are already rumors of who Chip Kelly is looking at to be the Defensive Coordinator. Reports out of Georgia are that Todd Grantham is the leading candidate to become the new Defensive Coordinator…leaving a position he currently holds at the University of Georgia and he employs the 3-4 Defense which is something Chip Kelly is familiar with.

Here are the staff reactions to Chip Kelly’s hiring by the Eagles:

Ryan Heal:

I’m very curious to hear from Gus Bradley and others of how everything played out, Whether the Eagles kicked Gus to the curb for Chip Kelly when he changed his mind, or if Gus turned em down and they went back to Chip Kelly a 2nd time. I am also anxious to see what type of staff he hires, who he decides his QB is, what type of system he plans on running, etc, before I jump to conclusions. I did like Bradley alot, but most of us knew very little about him until just recently. I’m gonna give Kelly a shot to show me what his plans are.

I also put alot of stock into the fact that Bill Belichick consulted with Chip Kelly on how to implement the Patriots no huddle offense, communicate the entire offensive formation, protection, motion, shift and play. If Belichick, one of the greatest coaches ever, thinks that highly of him, maybe Chip Kelly is a guy who can be innovative and stay ahead of the curve, granted that he can surround himself with good personnel. Also, keep in mind he was a defensive coordinator 10 years ago as well. The guy has been successful the last 22 years wherever he’s been. Well see what transpires in the upcoming weeks and months.

Jimmy Johnson:

The Philadelphia Eagles have hired Oregon’s Chip Kelly. Can you believe it? It was a headline that was thought to be possible a few weeks ago, and then, after some persuasion, Kelly decided to stay at Oregon. Now, in a surprising turn of events, Kelly is taking over a franchise that has had just one man standing on the sideline since 1999. Does anyone even remember Ray Rhodes at this point? Some may, but his legacy — if you can even call it that — is not even comparable to the one Andy Reid left behind. There’s a lot of work to be done and Kelly will need to pick a coaching staff wisely, but with the team in disarray, he has a chance to build something new. It’s a project that has no timetable — it could come together right away or take several years. There’s a lot of talent on the team and perhaps the new coach could get them going. Then again, they may not fit his system and the program will have to go through a complete overhaul. Overall, I like the hire in that I’m glad the Eagles found a coach before the Super Bowl. Coach after coach turned them down, and the candidates they brought in over the last week were not desirable whatsoever. So for the Eagles to dig back into the “Wish List” and grab Kelly is quite the accomplishment. Now, we wait to see what he does with the team. Will Michael Vick be a part of the future? Will Nick Foles? What happens with the high draft pick? There are many questions; I’m just happy the Eagles finally took care of the biggest question of all of them: “Who will be the next Eagles head coach?” Welcome, Coach Kelly. Grab yourself a cheesesteak, strap in and enjoy the ride. … Oh, and don’t cough/clear your throat at press conferences. It will conjure up memories of an era of Eagles football that we may not see again for a long time.

Ryan Dinger:

Wow. Tell me, who saw that coming? If you’ve been reading my posts the past few weeks, you know I didn’t. When I first heard the news about Kelly’s hire, I was shocked. Frankly, I thought the Chip ship had long since sailed. But after an exhaustive search, it seems Jeffrey Lurie‘s man was right there in front of him all along. For those that criticized the process, it’s time to admit you were wrong. It was widely reported that the Eagles top candidate was Kelly, and now they have him. Whether you like the move or not, you have to credit the team for getting their man. I’ve said at length that I wanted a defensive minded coach for the position. And while Kelly is far from that, I can live with this. The reason I’m not up in arms lies in Kelly’s resume. During his four years as head coach at Oregon, he went an impressive 46-7, went to four straight BCS Bowl games, and won the Pac-12 three times.

While I’m skeptical about a college coach making the transition to the pros, there is reason to believe Kelly can have success. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the 2012 New England Patriots. You know whose offense they’ve been running this year? Kelly’s. That’s right. Before this season, Kelly met with Belichick to teach him his “blur offense.” (hyperlink: http://www.footballscoop.com/news/7637-how-chip-kelly-influenced-the-patriots-no-huddle). That alone suggests Kelly is an offensive innovator and his offense can be adapted to the pro game.

Therefore, I’m going to give him the chance he deserves. Realistically, nobody knew how any of these candidates were going to work out. So you might as well accept Kelly, give him a chance and root for the best. I also want to caution fans that this could be a long-term fix. Don’t expect Kelly to turn things around right away. This was a team that was 4-12 this past season, so if they don’t come out and dominate right away, keep that in mind. They’ve got a long way to climb to get to the top.

Thomas Holzerman:

It’s true. I was against Chip Kelly before I was for it. Look right here on this very site. However, I got to thinking about the kind of offensive system Kelly ran in Oregon. It was all about utilizing innovative blocking schemes to get small, fast players out in space to pick up huge chunks of yards in short amounts of time. The Eagles, even if they get rid of Michael Vick, still have a lot of players who fit that bill. I imagined LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown carving up defenses, Dion Lewis getting huge chunks on screens with bodies in front of him, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin running wild in secondaries flustered by whether they needed to be in coverage or up to support the run defense. In essence, Kelly already had the personnel he needed, at least at the skill positions. I think I’m on board with this. In fact, I think I’m excited for this.

Meredith Hays:

Chip Kelly is who I originally wanted. My college did not have a football team, and I’ve become a pretty big Oregon Ducks fan over the last 6 years. However, when I started to look a little more deeply on how he would fit into the Eagles scheme, I became a little more hesitant. First and foremost, his offense is more suited for a guy like Michael Vick, who I absolutely cannot stand anymore. I don’t want him behind center next year, at all. Nick Foles is a classic drop back quarterback, and he’s slow to boot. This is not Chip’s style. But, Chip has had experience playing against Foles in the PAC 12, so he’s had to study him a bit before. I think now that the hiring is official and there is plenty of time till next season, he’ll be able to think of something to do. Otherwise, he’ll have to look at the draft. Now, there are wayyyyy too many holes that need to be filled before QB. I’m thinking offensive line, obviously, and the secondary as well. But (and maybe this is just my fantasy) you never know if a late-round drafted QB could come out being someone great, a la Russell Wilson. Not getting my hopes up, but just saying, I’m not going to panic. Second, Chip’s offense is actually GREAT for almost every weapon the Birds have otherwise. LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown, DeSean Jackson, and Jeremy Maclin should be able to flourish under Chip’s brand of offense. Third, and perhaps of the utmost importance, Chip has been able to win. He’s also been able to have a solid personnel core around him. That means hiring the defensive and offensive coordinators should be interesting to watch. I’m a little concerned about the Eagles’ money situation, since I’m assuming they coughed up some BIG bucks to get him to change his mind. However, I’m sure that if Chip has a good amount of control (which I’m sure he negotiated for) the guys around him will be solid. Oregon has been a complete team at every angle, and on defense, their linebackers especially have been outstanding. I’m excited to see what he can do.

Tim Sullivan:

Philadelphia Eagles fans, welcome your new head coach Chip Kelly.

Gimmick offense have a way of being exposed and abused in the NFL. Just ask Tony Sparano and the “Wildcat” that he was so successful with for all of a year in Miami. Yet, here’s Bill Belichik, watching, absorbing, even speaking to Kelly and then using parts of Kelly’s innovative schemes, successfully, in the NFL this year. It doesn’t hurt that Tom Brady is the QB either, where as we have Nick Foles. Either way, Kelly has a mind for exciting offensive football and while that might not translate to most NFL franchises, this looks to be a perfect match as far as coach and personnel.

With the exception of the previously mentioned Foles, who we’re all still unsure of, the offense has a good number of players that are quick and that’s a huge requirement of the Kelly system. Not just quick in play, but quick to the line, quick recognition, etc. With players like DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Brent Celek, Kelly will be starting with a good base to run his offense.

The big question is what will the offense be? Will it be everything that we’ve seen out of Oregon the past few years? Will it be some sort of hybrid as the Patriots have taken to running? Will it be something completely new that will be geared towards professional athletes rather than kids trying to make the most of their chances?

Kelly is known as a gambler on offense and seems to coach the game as if he was playing Madden 2013 on 5 minute quarters, but when listening to him he’s said that you have to change based on what you have available to you. That’s obviously something that Andy Reid never learned to do and most Eagles fans will be skeptical of having happen again.

Given all that we know about Chip Kelly and his style of play, he should be successful with the offense, right away. The biggest issue is finding a defensive coordinator to get the defense to step up and be something close to competent.

Maybe that’s where Lovie Smith or Gus Bradley come in to the picture.

Brandon Dougherty:

Chip Kelly was my number one choice for the job. Personally I love innovation and breaking conventional wisdom, so Kelly already hit those two check marks with me. But like many of the Eagles fans out there today complaining, I was worried that he was a gimmick coach who would get exposed in the NFL like Steve Spurrier. Couple things changed my mind though. First is Kelly never had the recruiting classes Spurrier did. Once he established himself, Spurrier walked into to every game with a significant talent advantage (similar to the one Nick Saban has now). That makes for a great college coach, but since recruiting isn’t part of the NFL job, it doesn’t mean much when it comes to NFL success (in fact it may be a hindrance since you no longer have to work as hard on your schemes or strategies). The second thing was two articles that changed my perspective on Kelly. The first (http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/men-action/201211/how-oregon-coach-chip-kelly-can-spark-moneyball-revolution-nfl) discussed how Kelly was very analytic when it came to his decisions about when to go for it vs when to punt or kick a FG. This has bothered me about risk averse NFL coaches for years and I hope Kelly brings that aggressive with him because in the long run it will mean more wins. The second article (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8631595/the-success-chip-kelly-oregon-ducks-offense-more-familiar-seems) discussed how Kelly’s offense wasn’t really a gimmick and did a pretty good job convincing me that it could translate into the NFL. So today I am every excited for Chip Kelly (that is of course until the Eagles go 6-10 next year.)

Les Engles:

With the hiring of Chip Kelly the new age of Eagles football is upon us. Kelly is known to be an unorthodox, lively leader in the locker room and on the field, something Andy Reid was not. This team needed a change that’s clear, but while some love the hiring it just leaves me with questions. Will the spread offence, which Kelly has ridden to such success at University of Oregon translate to the NFL? In the past popular collegiate offensive philosophies have tried to emerge in the NFL and have shortly fizzled (wishbone anyone?) Will his hiring murk up the decision on letting Michael Vick go? Sure Vick has the speed and the arm for the Spread but with the faster defense the the NFL brings Vick’s glass like fragility is also a big liability. Is the rest of the team suited for the spread or will this signal across the board personnel changes? Looking across this roster it doesn’t appear the Eagles really have the speed that is needed for this scheme to work. To me that’s a lot of questions to be mulling over while still having the hurdle of learning a whole new offence. The one certainty that Kelly’s hiring ensures is that the days of tight lipped, repetitive press conferences are over. Kelly’s post game press conferences are anything but dull, being known to be fun, open and opinion filled events, something that this team has lacked in ages. The Kelly Era is here for better or worse, and one thing we can be certain about is it won’t be boring.

Lou Vogel:

The Eagles coaching search finally came to an end on Wednesday. In the end, the franchise was able to deliver the man they likely wanted from the start, Oregon’s Chip Kelly. Let me be clear, when the time is proper to judge this landmark decision it will either be deemed a move of brilliance or catastrophe. There will be no middle ground. Will Kelly be a 21st century reincarnation of Dick Vermeil, hired from a West Coast school to resuscitate a faltering Eagles franchise? Or will he be Steve Spurrier 2.0, all the way down to the visor; a too-green college coach with a dynamic offense, ill-equipped to take on the challenges of the NFL, let alone the city of Brotherly Love and its loyal sons. There is reason to be excited and reason to be perplexed. However, I must continue to reserve judgment. On the surface, Kelly seems to be a bright football mind, capable of keeping opposing (collegiate) defensive coordinators on their heels at all times with his fast and aggressive offensive tendencies. Will that success translate to the NFL? Only time will tell.

For now, there is reason to view the agreement with Kelly positively. Despite a wave of recent negative press from the national media regarding Howie Roseman‘s qualifications and abilities as a GM, he was able to land the candidate the Eagles coveted from the start. In this vain, his ability to come to terms should be credited. Similarly, New England’s Bill Belichick’s use of Kelly in a consultancy role regarding offensive innovations recently also may serve as an indication of Kelly’s ability to translate his (supposed) genius offensive philosophy to the NFL scheme.

However, three distinct phases are necessary for a successful NFL franchise. Offensive proliferation, while helpful, is not the only necessity for a Super Bowl champion. Rather, to achieve this ultimate goal a strong defense and disciplined special teams are critical. At the moment, no one knows what consequences the decision to hire Kelly will have on the defensive and special team units. In the coming days, Kelly will be required to build his first NFL staff. A strong defensive coordinator will significantly aid his chances of success. Failure to address the problems of a woeful (and highly compensated) 2012 Eagles defense will lead to Kelly’s quick demise. As such, the next few days may shed more light on what Eagles’ fans can expect from Kelly’s 2013 Birds and beyond. Pay close attention, because Kelly’s next move (defensive coordinator) may be the most important of his Eagles career, even in only his first few moments of his pro-coaching career.

Matt Regan:

The Eagles have finally signed a head coach. I am not 100% behind Chip Kelly though. He is a solid find especially this late in the hunt and one that no one saw coming. When it comes to football Kelly is very intelligent. He will put players in a position to play better on offense, I have no doubt about that, but do not expect the same offense he ran in college. He has said before he will have to adapt and change his game plan up. However, we will see some type of up-tempo offense. There really is only one other thing to say about the Kelly signing. The Eagles will not, or at least should not, draft Geno Smith. Let that idea die.

Alex Birchmeier:

On first response, the Chip Kelly hiring was a polarizing one. Tuesday afternoon saw the Eagles interview Seahawks Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley for the second time, only for the team to hire Kelly 24 hours later, and a fortnight after he appeared to be heading back to Eugene. While many fans were excited at the prospect of hiring a defensive minded coach, the hiring of Kelly comes as a shock. This may lead people to wonder about the possible NCAA sanctions facing Oregon. Then there’s the high failure rate of college-turned-pro coaches. The most intriguing aspect of this hire is finding out how Kelly will tailor his unique brand of offense to the NFL. Will he alter his system to fit the team’s personnel? And what does this mean for the future of Michael Vick ? Only time will tell, but for those fans anticipating change, they most certainly got it.

Matt Plunkett:

I’m excited to have Chip Kelly as the new coach for the Eagles. His system has been successful at the collegiate level and his up-tempo/hurry-up style offense was so intriguing Patriots Coach Bill Belichick had to check it out. I don’t think it will be instant success for Kelly and the Eagles, but I think he gives the team the best opportunity for a quick turnaround. With players like McCoy, Jackson, Maclin and Celek on offense, Kelly has a lot of talent at his disposal. After Lurie and Roseman were so thorough with the coaching search, I’d have to imagine they’ll have some hand in helping Kelly recruit a solid defensive coordinator. Kelly’s football IQ combined with a solid signing for defensive coordinator could lead the Eagles to years of success down the road. After what I think will be a 6-to-8 win season next year, I see much success down the road for Kelly and the Eagles.

Chuck Reynolds:

I think the Chip Kelly hiring is interesting to say the least. Obviously he had to be one of at most two guys (Bill O’Brien being the other) whom the Eagles were truly interested in. O’Brien and Kelly share two things-a connection with Bill Belichick and a belief in a fast-paced offense. It will be interesting to see whom Kelly chooses as defensive coordinator as he has not had much experience coaching on that side of the ball. And of course the direction he goes in terms of a quarterback will be fascinating. The problem is who is available. My dark horse candidate-Alex Smith. But that is really a story for another day.

RJ Reed:

For Philadelphia Eagles fans, the waiting is finally over. After a month of interviews and a list of potential candidates a mile long, Chip Kelly decided against another season in the NCAA in favor of the vacancy in the City of Brotherly Love. While the success of his fast paced offensive style in the NFL is questioned, Kelly was arguably the best candidate available, especially for a struggling Eagles’ team that has underperformed for two straight seasons.

As the head coach of the University of Oregon (2009-2012), Kelly was able to amass 51 wins, including three conference titles and two bowl victories. While the option has proven to be unsuccessful in the NFL, Kelly’s rich offensive background could aid in his development of a smarter play calling strategy than seen from Andy Reid in the short lived post-Donovan McNabb era. While the transition from college to the NFL should not be taken lightly, an offensive mind like Kelly should be able to overcome the challenges.

With the speed the Eagles’ offence boasts, his unique spread offence could fit perfectly, along with another thing every Eagles fan will love:

Chip Kelly runs the ball.

The most frustrating thing about being an Eagles’ fan over the past 14 years has been Andy Reid’s almost spiteful disregard for the rushing attack. Under Chip Kelly, Oregon’s rushing has exceeded 200 yards per game, contributing to an offence ranked in the top five for three yeas running.

Running back LaMichael James flourished in Oregon, averaging 6.7 yards per carry, while exceeding 1,500 yards in each of his three seasons played. Even after James opted for the NFL, Oregon rushed for over 300 yards per game. This rushing success will likely translate to LeSean McCoy, who is widely considered a top five running back already. With Bryce Brown emerging as a good rusher, the tandem of McCoy and Brown could be quite a duo moving forward, assuming of course, that Brown can hold on to the football.

Kelly’s hiring may also hold good things for quarterback Michael Vick. While he may not be willing to restructure his contract, Vick’s athleticism is precisely what the Eagles will need in order for the spread offence to be successful. However, Vick’s health is always a question, as well as his ability to make good decisions with the football in his hands, which could very well improve in Kelly’s offensive scheme.

All things considered, the Eagles secured a perfect fit with Kelly’s hiring, and could be destined for great things in the coming years.

Josh Collacchi:

This is a horrible move, I thought to myself, we need a defensive guy, we need a smash-mouth guy. But the more I thought about it, the more I became a fan of the move. I support the Eagles hiring of Chip Kelly, as Jeff Lurie got his man. Lurie found Reid, so I trust him. The main reason why I like the move it because as we all know, the NFL is a copycat league. The new offenses are becoming more and more prevalent. This offense is a no huddle, read option scheme. We saw it with RGIII and the Redskins, we see it now with Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers. Bill Belichick bases his offense on this style. All of these offenses are very good. All of these offenses also have one thing in common: they are versions of Chip Kelly’s design at Oregon. Kelly is an offensive mastermind, and for what the NFL is today, he may be perfect. The only thing I am halfway skeptical of is what he is going to do with the defense. If we get a good defensive coordinator, this is a very good hire. I can see Chip Kelly as a successful football coach in the NFL. Good job Mr. Lurie.

Tags: , ,

Derek Sabato

Derek Sabato is a longtime Philly sports fan who founded HighPhive.com in July, 2012. His passion is the Philadelphia Phillies, Eagles & Flyers. Rebounding to be a 76ers fan. He also runs and operates the @TheHighPhive on Twitter and The High Phive page on Facebook. He's very vocal about his Philly sports and his opinions. You can also follow him on his personal Twitter @DerekSabato.