PHOENIX --- New Eagles coach Chip Kelly held his most extensive media session since he took the job two months ago, chatting with waves of curious reporters gathered for the NFC coaches' breakfast at the NFL Meetings.
The Chipper's main message was that he is not coming in as some sort of miracle worker/genius whose ideas will revolutionalize football. (Even if that is what he hopes for, there is no advantage to having the rest of the league eager to watch the "smart guy" fail.)
"We don't run some magical offense or defense,' Kelly said. At another juncture, when asked about NFL people who think the spread option won't last in the NFL, Kelly shrugged.
"I would say they could be right," he said. "Anybody can say whatever they want. I don't have a crystal ball."
Then he subtly indicated that such thinking might be outdated. "Twenty years ago, if you had told people (the NFL) was going to end up throwing the ball 60 to 70 percent of the time, that would have been seen as a recipe for disaster."
Kelly remained reluctant to talk in any depth about his personnel until he sees the players on the field, which won't occur until the special minicamp granted new coaches, starting around April 15.
But asked if the eight free agent signees last week indicate a trend toward the longer, leaner athletes he preferred at Oregon, Kelly agreed.
"We want taller, longer people because bigger people beat up little people," Kelly said. This has not been the Eagles' philosophy in recent seasons.
Asked about his fast-paced practices, in terms of installing systems this spring, Kelly said he will "teach to the fastest learner. Everybody else's gotta catch up."
Kelly confirmed that Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel will work out for the Eagles next week.
He said he intends to hold a practice, not a walkthrough, the day before the game, sans pads. "We're going to run around a little bit," he said.