NEW ORLEANS -- San Francisco 49ers secondary coach Ed Donatell first denied he had any idea he was a hot topic in Philadelphia last week. Then Donatell allowed that "we hear things, and sometimes things are printed, but there's been no official contact."
"Official" is an interesting word for Donatell to use, as speculation swirls about possible candidates to be Chip Kelly's defensive coordinator.
"I know they're moving on the way they should," said Donatell, former coordinator for the Packers and Falcons.
Though Donatell ran 4-3 defenses in Green Bay and Atlanta, he said he's now a 3-4 guy through and through. It seems likely the Eagles are going to move to a 3-4, which was what Kelly's Oregon teams used.
At what point did football jump the shark for you?
"I'm a 3-4 coach now. There's no question about it," Donatell said. " I just think there's more combinations you can do, and there's more flexibility to it." Donatell worked as a senior advisor to the Jets, who ran a 3-4, then spent two years in Denver in a 3-4 before coming to the 49ers, who also employ that scheme.
"I went and did some extra studying, my masters work, learning from some really good guys," said Donatell, who said he knows Kelly from a visit Kelly made to the Niners. Donatell sounded very much like someone who would like to have a crack at running his own 3-4.
In other Eagles news, as has been reported elsewhere, the way Michael Vick's contract works, the Eagles don't have to release him three days after the Super Bowl to save $3 million after all; they would only owe Vick that money if somehow he made less than $3 million playing this coming year. So that gives them a month or so to explore a renegotiation of Vick's contract or a trade. Vick is scheduled to make about $15.5 million if he plays for the Eagles in 2013,
Also, CBS Sports reported that University of Virginia offensive coordinator Bill Lazor is leaving to join Chip Kelly's staff, presumably as quarterbacks coach. The Eagles aren't announcing any hires until their staff is complete, they say.