The Philadelphia Eagles have hired Chip Kelly after he originally chose to stay at Oregon. Kelly becomes the 21 coach in team history and replaces Andy Reid, who was fired Dec. 31 after a 4-12 season. Kelly, who has a 46-7 record in 4 years at Oregon, interviewed with the Eagles, Cleveland Browns and the Buffalo Bills after leading the Ducks to a victor over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl. But he opted to remain at Oregon before changing his mind. The Eagles are known to have interviewed 11 candidates, including 2 meeting with Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. Kelly re-emerged as a candidate recently and an agreement was just reached today. Following the Fiesta Bowl, the 49 year old Kelly said he wanted to get the interview process over “quickly.” Turns out, it was anything but. He came close to jumping to the pros last year but turned down an offer from the Tampa Bay Bucs to return for his 4th season as the coach at Oregon. He has boosted the school’s national profile, flashy uniforms helped, with a high powered offense capable of turning any game into a track meet. Kelly becomes the 6th active NFL coach to make the jump directly from college. Kelly has the highest college win percentage of any of those coaches. Kelly doesn’t have any pro coaching experience, but aspects of his up tempo offense are already being used by some NFL teams, including the New England Patriots and the Washington Redskins. The Eagles fired Reid after 2 forgettable years. A late flurry brought the team to an 8-8 finish last season, but this season the Eagles endured an 8 game losing streak and dropped 11 of its last 12 games. A 3-1 start soon washed away, and Reid’s 14 year tenure ended not long after. Within a week, Reid was named the Kansas City Chiefs new head coach. Still, Kelly has tough shoes to fill. Reid won more games than any coach in franchise history and led the Eagles to 9 playoff appearances, 6 division titles, 5 conference championship games and a loss to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl following the 2004 season.
This is a big move for both Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles. Chip is a big name in college football and had his Oregon Ducks as 1 of the best teams in the country. Chip is coach that many NFL teams wanted to bring up from college and now Philadelphia will have a lot of high expectations from him. The Eagles needed a fresh face to take over, especially after the 14 years of Andy Reid and all the success he had brought them. The Eagles started 2013 off with a great start after hiring Chip and now we will see what they do with Michael Vick and they also have the 4th pick in the 2013 NFL draft. College football will be sad to see Chip Kelly gone from coaching, but also a move that everybody expected to see. I think that Chip made the right choice of going to the Eagles over the Browns and the Bills and over the Bucs from last year. Philadelphia is a tough town and you know that they are showing him brotherly love. It will be interesting to see if Chip can run his high powered offense that he is known for and bring it to his team in Philly. Congrats to Chip Kelly on becoming an NFL coach and I am excited to see how he does.