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Chip Kelly: Five Questions Surrounding New Eagles Coach

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At his introductory press conference Thursday afternoon, Chip Kelly seemed to make a good first impression. He referenced the Eagles of old (Chuck Bednarik, Vince Papale), threw in some humor (something we haven’t seen at an Eagles press conference in decades), and instead of making empty promises to Eagles fans, Kelly expressed his ultimate goal: to get to the Super Bowl.
 photo: Oregonlive.com
While all of this is encouraging, the bottom line is you have to win in the NFL, because National Football League turns into “Not For Long” when you don’t deliver.  As Steve Spurrier showed when he left Florida for the Washington Redskins in 2002, the results aren’t always pretty.

There are questions surrounding Kelly’s hiring, and here are some of ours:

1. Can Kelly bring his high-powered offensive game to an offensive-heavy NFL?
Kelly’s Oregon team averaged 49.7 points per game in 2012, and in four years averaged 44.7 PPG. But for starters, it’s a whole new ball game in the NFL, and you can guarantee he won’t duplicate this with this Eagles or ANY NFL squad. Will he get discouraged?

2. Will Kelly lean towards Michael Vick or Nick Foles when choosing his quarterback?
You would think the obvious choice here is Vick, despite the fact that he’s approaching 33 years of age and he seems to have lost a step or three.  Kelly however, said in his press conference he would evaluate both Vick and Foles. Whether he’s playing this close to the vest remains to be seen. Personally, I can’t see an immobile player like Foles taking part in Kelly’s offensive scheme, but stranger things have happened.

3. Who will be his defensive coordinator?
With a head coach now in tow, it’s time for the Birds’ brass to find someone to help sure up the team’s once-proud defense.  Howard Eskin reported that the Eagles were interested in Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart and Georgia’s Todd Grantham  as possible candidates for the job. It might be advantageous to bring in someone with NFL coaching experience like Lovie Smith for this position. Smith however, is reportedly willing to sit out 2013 in hopes of eventually landing a head coaching job.

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4. Who will he draft?
The first draft pick of former Eagles coach Andy Reid was Donovan McNabb when the team drafted him 2nd overall in 1999. Kelly also has the potential to make an impact on this Eagles team in the upcoming draft. This time, the Eagles have the 4th overall pick. Naturally, you would think the offensive-minded Kelly would do just that and draft an offensive player, but the defense is a mess..........

5. How long before the pressure of Philadelphia makes him wish he was still in Eugene?
In addition to Spurrier, Bobby Petrino, Nick Saban and Lou Holtz are three other names that come to mind when you think of coaches who came to the realization they may have been better suited for the college game. Kelly says he’s ‘all in,’ but that remains to be seen. Kelly lost only seven games in his four years as Oregon’s head coach. He will likely eclipse this in one season with this Eagles team. He has a lot of work to do to turn around this 4-12 Eagles squad and the road begins now.  Things should get very interesting real soon.

 

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Article photo: Oregonlive.com