Chip Kelly signs on with Eagles
University of Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, who had previously said he would stick with the Ducks, changed his mind and signed on as the new head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.
The NCAA is launching an investigation into Oregon’s recruiting practices, and Kelly had been quoted as saying that he didn’t have interest in switching to the NFL and that the investigation wouldn’t sway his stance. However, when it was announced on Wednesday that Kelly would be leading the Eagles next season, he left a lot of people scratching their heads.
“It’s a very difficult decision for me. It took me so long to make it just because the people [in Oregon] are special,” Kelly told reporters. “The challenge obviously is exciting for me, but it’s an exciting time and it’s a sad time — saying goodbye to people you love and respect, and I wanted to make sure I talked to my players and did it in the right fashion and talked to our staff. I feel I did.”
Kelly is an interesting choice for the Eagles–who expressed almost exclusive interest in college coaches–as he has no prior experience in professional football. However, he has built up the Oregon program to a national powerhouse, and that’s what made him such an attractive candidate.
His strong defensive tactics have even been adopted by some teams in the NFL. Kelly’s defensive style is famous for it’s fast play, and he’s met with various teams, including the Patriots, to give them offensive pointers.
The New York Times reported that the sudden change surprised even people close to the Ducks organization. One recruit, Nico Faleh, tweeted “Kelly left? He was at my house 2 days ago.”