Thursday, January 17, 2013

Chip Kelly takes over nest in Philadelphia

It took former Eagles' head coach Andy Reid less than a week to land another job in the NFL when he was named to the same position with Kansas City earlier this month. It took team owner Jeff Lurie a bit longer than expected to fill Reid's shoes, but in the end all indications suggest that he got his man when Chip Kelly decided that he wanted a shot to coach in the NFL after all.

Philadelphia doggedly pursued Kelly just hours after his Oregon Ducks completed another highly successful season with an impressive 35-17 victory over Kansas State in this season's Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. After interviewing with the team, Kelly decided to return to Oregon next season and put the NFL on hold for now. What actually happened between then and now to change his mind remains to be seen, but in a news conference scheduled for Thursday afternoon, he will be officially introduced as the Eagles 21st head coach in franchise history.

Just the other night I was talking with a fellow knuckleheaded Eagles' fan about how I was glad that neither Chip nor Brian Kelly had any interest in the head coaching job in Philly. In a previous post, I opted for hiring a coordinator or assistant coach that was previously with a team that had already won a Super Bowl, similar to what Reid brought to the table when he was with Green Bay.

After a parade of stars worked their way through the interview process, it appears that Lurie never gave up hope of still landing his original choice when the whole process first began. You have to give the Eagles credit for sticking to their guns, but the jury is still out as to whether or not it was the right move.

Kelly brings some impressive coaching credentials to South Philly but they were all honed on the collegiate level with no previous NFL experience of any type. Often times what motivates teams and players in college does not translate to the pro level. Jim Harbaugh did it almost effortlessly in San Francisco, which will be playing in its second-straight NFC Championship Game in his two-year tenure, but he is certainly the exception not the rule.

The one thing that Kelly will bring to the table is a renewed enthusiasm and sense of excitement to not only to a beaten down team but its downtrodden fans as well. What is done is done, so it is time to get on the Chip Kelly bandwagon for better or worse. He will have all the opportunity in the world to be successful in Philadelphia as one thing Lurie is committed to is bringing a Super Bowl title to a city starved for a champion. It is now up to Kelly to hopefully be that one last missing piece to finally get the job done.

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