Wednesday, January 16, 2013—around noon EST— the Eagles fired a PR email into our inbox:
EAGLES HIRE CHIP KELLY AS 21st HEAD COACH
Gasp!!! Eeeeek! (ahem)….
Here's the text of the official Eagles release:
"Chip Kelly, known for possessing strong leadership skills and one of the most innovative minds in football today, will be the new head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles – the 21st head coach in the franchise’s history.
"Kelly – with his fast-paced offense and aggressive play calling – has been the head coach at the University of Oregon. He met with Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, team president Don Smolenski and general manager Howie Roseman early in the head coach search in Arizona after the Fiesta Bowl for almost nine hours with both sides engaging in a wide ranging, enthusiastic discussion of everything from football philosophy to management and organizational values and ideas. The conversations continued until Kelly decided he wanted to remain at the University of Oregon.
"Still, Kelly continued to evaluate the opportunity to work for the Eagles in the NFL.
'“Chip Kelly will be an outstanding head coach for the Eagles,” said Lurie. “He has a brilliant football mind. He motivates his team with his actions as well as his words. He will be a great leader for us and will bring a fresh energetic approach to our team.” '
"This will be Kelly’s first head coaching job in the NFL.
"Over the years, Kelly has developed an aggressive offensive strategy and system. Kelly is one of the most progressive thinkers in football today. A strong leader and an innovative football mind was at the top of Lurie’s list when he outlined the characteristics he was seeking in a coach when he launched the search.
"Under Kelly in 2012, Oregon averaged nearly 50 points per game (49.6) and his four-year scoring average with the Ducks was a whopping 44.7 points per contest. "
Back to "Eeeeek!"….
I don't know exactly how Oregon's fast-break offense translates to the NFL. Hard to believe, Harry, that averaging 48 points per game in NCAA Division 1 ball means squat in the NFL.
But I'll keep an open mind. Lurie and Howie are in love with the guy. And I guess this means the Eagles are officially in rebuilding mode.