Created on: January 19, 2013 Last Updated: January 21, 2013
Before the start of the 2012 season, one of the popular picks to make some noise in the NFC this year was the Philadelphia Eagles. After a rough beginning to the 2011 campaign, the Eagles turned things around and seemed to have the talent lined up to make a run to the Super Bowl this season. At the conclusion of the regular season though, the Eagles finished 4-12, leading to the ouster of long time head coach, Andy Reid.
Philadelphia owner Jeffrey Lurie said before the season that 8-8 was not good enough, so Reid knew he was finished as an Eagle. The question was who would take over as the coach of this underachieving team? The Eagles certainly did their due diligence, as different outlets reported that they interviewed no less than eleven candidates for the job. In the end, the Eagles tabbed Oregon Ducks coach Chip Kelly as their new head man.
When the announcement was made, it shocked a lot of folks in NFL circles, considering that Kelly had earlier in the week stated that he would remain at the University of Oregon. This was after almost signing on with the Cleveland Browns, but then pulling out at the last moment. There had even been speculation that Kelly rebuffed a chance to interview with Philadelphia. Proving one cannot always believe what they hear, Philadelphia lured the offensive genius out of college and into the pro ranks.
What changed Kelly's mind? He told his athletic director at Oregon, "He wasn’t sure if that opportunity would present itself again, so he felt this was the right one at the right time.” Philadelphia is making him a rich man, plus there are plenty of pieces there for Kelly to try and fit into his Oregon style offense if he so chooses. With all that though, there are plenty of people wondering if the threat of NCAA sanctions might have been the ultimate deciding factor in his departure.
Whether that is the case or not, the next logical question is can Kelly's full speed ahead offense work at the highest level. Well, one would have to take a look at places like Washington, where a version of his philosophy is on display. It needs to be mentioned that it is the first year of the read option brand of offense, and it does not take long for NFL defenses to figure things out. Kelly will also have to make decisions on the quarterback situation. He was a fan of Nick Foles in college, but it remains to be seen if a drop back quarterback in the right leader for the offense that Kelly would want to run in Philadelphia.
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Philadelphia Eagles hire Oregon coach Chip Kelly