- (Photo: Reuters / Tim Shaffer)
Chip Kelly was hired by the Eagles of Philadelphia, Penn. after a long search by the NFL football team to replace their previous coach, Andy Reid. Reid was fired 16 days ago after a rough 4-12 season, and the Philly team took their time selecting the Oregon Ducks coach for their team.
Chip Kelly's move to coaching the Eagles- at times, drawn out, as he met with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Cleveland Browns, and the Buffalo Bills- happened suddenly Wednesday, and many were caught off guard by the coach's about face. As recently as two days ago, Kelly seemed to be locked in to coach the Oregon Ducks again, the No. 2 this year and the winners of the Fiesta Bowl Jan 3.
"Chip Kelly left?!?!" Nico Falah, a recruit for Oregon from California, tweeted after learning of the change. "He was at my house 2 days ago."
Though Oregon certainly wasn't eager to let Kelly go- as head coach, he's had a stellar record of 46-7 over four seasons, taking his team to the BCS bowl four years in a row- they were quick to issue a statement addressing the abrupt loss.
"I have great respect for Chip, consider him a friend and wish him the best of luck in the NFL," Rob Mullens, the Ducks athletic director, said in a statement on the school's website. "Oregon Athletics has executed two successful head coach transitions in the past eighteen years and each time we continued our ascent."
"We are focused on identifying a leader who is the right fit to guide Oregon Football," he added.
The hubbub surrounding Kelly isn't just his record as a coach, it's his unique offensive style. Starting off as an offensive coordinator at Oregon, he perfected the blur offense- it's a highly active, fast-paced, aggressive style of play. Teams like the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, the Miami Dolphins, and the San Francisco 49ers have met with him to compare offensive notes, according to The New York Times.
For Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, snagging Kelly from Oregon was worth the wait.
"Chip Kelly will be an outstanding head coach for the Eagles," Lurie said in a statement. "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."