On this day, one year ago, the Eagles hired Chip Kelly. As we all witnessed, the Eagles went 10-6 in the regular season and won the NFC East, which far exceeded consensus preseason expectations. Today, Kelly was named Professional Coach of the Year by the Maxwell Football Club on his one year anniversary with the team.
But Kelly wasn't just a great coach in his first season with the team. He was also a very entertaining quote. In the past, Andy Reid was very forthcoming with injury updates, but his press conferences were about as exciting as watching paint dry. Kelly has been the complete opposite. He refused to talk about injuries, but makes up for it in spades by answering questions with personality and humor.
We pulled all of Chip Kelly's press conferences from the beginning of training camp, and dumped them into a Word document. That document ended up being 257 pages, containing 157,886 of Kelly's spoken words. We then dumped them into a "word cloud" generator, which found his most common words and displayed them according to most common usage. The words he used the most are in larger print. You can scroll over the image to magnify the words.
If you take out filler words like "the, and, do, yeah," etc., here are all the words Kelly used at least 200 times:
When he put those words together, Chip Kelly produced press conference gold. Here were my 15 personal favorite Chip Kelly quotes of the season:
15) "We're an equal opportunity scorer."
This is a phrase Chip uses quite a bit, and it usually comes after he's been asked something specific about the Eagles' offense. Here's one example.
"The only thing we want to do is score points, and we're an equal opportunity scorer. If we've got to throw it to get it in; if we've got to run it to get it in, we'll run it to get it in. I don't think a touchdown looks different no matter how you get them, whether it's Nick Foles on a half‑yard quarterback sneak or it's Nick throwing a bomb to DeSean."
14) "You know you can't control your own destiny? Destiny is a predetermined set of events, therefore if it's predetermined, you can't control it."
"Control your own destiny" is a phrase that is used quite a bit at the end of the regular season in any sport. The meaning behind it is that if you win all your games, it doesn't matter what any other teams do. You "control your own destiny."
"You know you can't control your own destiny? Destiny is a predetermined set of events, therefore if it's predetermined, you can't control it."
13) "I'm not Curious George."
Before the NFC East Championship Game in Dallas, Chip was asked if he was curious how his inexperienced team would respond to playing in a high pressure game.
Chip said, "I don't think curious is the word. I think excited is the word. I think we are all excited about going down there and what's at stake and what we can do. But I'm not Curious George wondering how we're going to show up or if we're going to show up."
12) "Let me harken back to that."
A reporter began asking a question by saying, "I harken back..."
Chip cut him off, and asked, "Did you just say harken? Wow."
Reporter: "Harken back..."
Chip: "I like that."
Chip then let the reporter ask his question, which he answered.
On the very next question, another reporter asked him, "When you first got here, did you understand what you had in LeSean McCoy?"
Chip: "Let me harken back to that."
11) "I give myself a 58.8%."
That was the grade Chip Kelly gave himself on the season. When asked why, Chip explained that the Eagles won 10 out of 17 games, or 58.8%.
10) "I have no idea what 'a Ben Franklin thing' is, so you lost me on that."
One of the things Chip Kelly brought with him from Oregon was his picture placards, which are used as communication tools from the sidelines to the players on the field. Since he's now in Philly, the placards now have Philly themes:
During one press conference, a TV reporter tried asking Chip about the placards. He was rebuffed repeatedly, but that didn't stop him from circling back almost a half dozen times:
Reporter: Can you kind of talk about what's behind the big signs that you guys use and why you went that route in college and brought it to the NFL?
Chip: No. Next question.
Reporter: Can you elaborate on that?
Chip: No, we're not ‑‑ we could tell you what all our signals are, too, but that's not going to help us.
Reporter: Just why you went that route.
Chip: Honestly, no, we can go on to something else. I'm not going to explain why we go through that whole thing.
(There were about 5 minutes or so of football questions, when the reporter doubled back on the placard questions)
Reporter: Different players, did they kind of chip in and say, hey, let's do a cheesesteak, let's do a Ben Franklin thing and things like that? Did they give different ideas?
Chip: I have no idea what a Ben Franklin thing is, so you lost me on that.
Reporter: Well, either a Ben Franklin or a cheesesteak and all that stuff. Did they say, hey, let's do a picture of this?
Chip: You're still on the sign thing?
9) "He’s the starting QB for the next 1,000 years."
Tired of questions about the longterm status of his who his starting QB is, Chip proclaimed that it would be Nick Foles until the year 3013.
8) "I was told there would be no math"
During the owner's meeting in Arizona, Kelly was asked about how he analyzed percentages on 4th down plays. Chip quipped, "I was told there would be no math." This was an homage to a 1970's Saturday Night Live sketch in which Chevy Chase was playing Gerald Ford, who didn't know how to answer a very complicated question.
7) "I thought that was the horn from Anchorman."
Eagles radio play by play man Merrill Reese noted that he had observed that the Eagles were playing the Vikings' horn sound during practice. Reese asked Kelly if that was an effort to get the players acclimated to the crowd noise/environment in Minnesota.
Here's what the Vikings' horn sounds like:
Chip replied, "I thought it was the horn from Anchorman, when he calls for his guys, and they were all standing right next him."
In case you've never seen Anchorman, here's what Chip was referring to:
6) "The Philadelphia Eagles run the See Coast Offense."
Prior to the Cardinals game, Arizona head coach Bruce Arians took a thinly veiled shot at Chip Kelly, saying that the read option is a "great college offense." When Kelly was asked about Arians' words, he explained that the zone read was a play they ran on occasion, and it is not "an offense." He then explained what his offense is. "Here's our offense. We run the See Coast Offense. If we see something, OK, and we think it fits, we're going to run it. The Philadelphia Eagles run the See Coast Offense."
A reporter at the Combine asked Chip about the reports that he was heading to the Browns at one point during their coaching search. Chip replied, "Erroneous. That's a quote from Wedding Crashers."
4) "This team is not going to fall for the banana-in-the-tailpipe trick."
Prior to the NFC East Championship Game, Chip was asked a question referencing a report that Dez Bryant had tweaked his back during practice. Chip wasn't going to be fooled by the Cowboys. He replied, "I don't think anybody in this group was like, ‘Hey, we don't have to get ready this week because such and such and such and such isn't going to play.’ I know this team is not going to fall for the banana‑in‑the‑tailpipe trick. We are not concerned with that stuff."
That was of course in reference to Beverly Hills Cop.
3) "F***ing score points. What's your plan?"
During a game, Riley Cooper asked Chip what the plan was. Chip gave him a pretty simple answer. (NSFW-ish)
2) "Bigger people beat up little people."
In Eagles fan culture, this quote has since become "Big people beat up little people," but he actually said "bigger." This quote was in reference to building a roster, and the kinds of players Chip prefers.
1) "We're from Philadelphia and we fight."
After the Eagles embarrassed the Bears on national television in a game that was considered by many to be somewhat meaningless, Chip Kelly said, "Very simply, we're from Philadelphia and we fight. That's it. If there's a game on, we're playing. End of story."
Happy Anniversary, Chip.