Analyzing Chip Kelly’s Coaching StaffBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
With the news reported by Adam Schefter regarding Michael Vick’s restructured contract with the Eagles just a few short hours before the press conference, much of the talk was on Vick and not on the staff. However, Kelly, along with the assistant coaches who met with media after the main event, gave plenty of information on which direction the 2013 Eagles would be headed.
Kelly, who refused to label his defense as a 3-4 or a 4-3, sounded ecstatic every time “Billy Davis” came from his mouth. “Just a bunch of guys talking football; a lot of intelligent questions with a lot of intelligent answers,” is how Kelly described his meeting with the new defensive coordinator. Davis will likely have full reign over the defensive operations while Kelly runs the offense.
Jerry Azzinaro, who came from Oregon with Kelly, will be the defensive line coach while holding the title of Assistant Head Coach as well. “We think alike 99.9% of the time,” said Kelly in regards to Azzinaro. Having no history with Billy Davis, Kelly’s go-to guy on defense will likely be Azzinaro.
Something that was pleasant to hear looking back at the 2012 Eagles staff was that “no one really has an ego” on this 2013 staff. Kelly continued to stress the fact that everyone on the staff was “a great fit” and that they were all on the same page with everything. Hiring an assistant before a coordinator hadn’t worked well in the past (ex-DL coach Jim Washburn) but with this group there seems to be chemistry already. Another thing that Kelly stressed was that, on gameday, there will be no micromanagers.
Pat Shurmur was brought in as the offensive coordinator and from what we’ve learned so far, it is only a title. Kelly said Monday that he has approached him on multiple occasions just to ask suggestions on what to do in specific situations from a head coaching standpoint given Shurmur’s past.
Another thing that Kelly liked about the former Browns head coach was the fact that he knows the facilities in Philadelphia. As an assistant coach with the Eagles for ten years, Shurmur knows his way around the organization and knows the attitude Kelly hopes to restore.
Shurmur said that he and Kelly have not gotten into extensive talks but that the belief is that Kelly will be calling the plays on offense. This should come as no surprise as Kelly is primarily offensively minded and hopes to integrate a new style of offense to the league, certainly not an identical one to the one ran in Oregon – similar, no doubt.
“It was important to get guys with NFL experience because that’s one thing I don’t have,” said Kelly. Both of the Eagles coordinators in 2013 will have 37 combined years of NFL experience. With Kelly having no NFL history, it is a plus to have so much NFL experience surrounding the rookie coach.
The new coach also solved the mystery of what a “Sports Science Coordinator” is. Shaun Huls, the man in the position, will work alongside the strength and conditioning staff and help players in recovering from injury. Huls previously worked in strength and conditioning and worked in the Navy’s Special Warfare training programs.
Kelly has hired a wide cast of characters and a group of 19 (Duce Staley, RBs and Ted Williams, TEs returning) new faces to the Eagles organization. NFL experience is not lacking in this new group of coaches, something that will prove to be very helpful as the Kelly’s career progresses in the league.
With the entire staff in position and free agency looming a month from today, many questions will be answered as far as what this staff thinks of the Eagles current roster and what direction they may be heading in. March and April will be an exciting couple of months for the Eagles staff and fans alike.
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