Chip Kelly gives hints on how he and new OC Pat Shurmur will work
MOBILE, Ala. - The Eagles have yet to confirm any of their assistant coaching hires, including the addition of Pat Shurmur as offensive coordinator.
But Shurmur walked around Senior Bowl practice Monday with a credential that read "Eagles" under his name. That was about as much confirmation as one would need.
Of more importance is how the former Cleveland Browns head coach will jell with new Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. On the surface, they are different. Kelly, who will likely call the plays on offense, is an out-of-the-box-thinking proponent of the spread offense. Shurmur is a conservative follower of the West Coast offense.
"People are trying to paint everybody with one brush," Kelly said. "They're not all tied to just one scheme. You need to have some people that have versatility.
"Your starting quarterback may be able to run your scheme, and your backup quarterback may not. You don't just throw up your hands in the first quarter when he's out and say, 'We're in trouble.' You have to be able to adapt."
Kelly said last week that he was looking for an offensive coordinator who would help more with the passing game. Shurmur, who was the Eagles quarterbacks coach from 2002 to '08 and the St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator from 2009 to '10 before getting the Browns job, would seem to fit the role.
Kelly said he's not looking for mirror images as he goes about filling out his staff.
"I think you need a lot of different personalities," he said. "If not, everything is the same."
The Eagles don't plan on announcing any coaching hires until Kelly finalizes his staff. There already have been a few that have leaked. Aside from Shurmur, there were several others walking around in Eagles garb.
Former Oregon defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro and Boston College linebackers coach Bill McGovern were observing Senior Bowl practices but declined comment. Kentucky defensive coordinator Rick Minter and Buffalo Bills wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell, who were reportedly hired by the Eagles to fill out various positions, may have also been in attendance.
There were several from Kelly's Oregon staff who were on hand, including his assistant director of football operations Josh Gibson. In 2011, Gibson was implicated in an NCAA investigation that could end with sanctions against Oregon.
He was allegedly the point man for Will Lyles, a recruiting consultant who was paid $25,000 for information that steered top recruits to the Ducks, thus violating an NCAA rule.
Kelly on Vick
Kelly confirmed that he met with Michael Vick on Friday at the NovaCare Complex. He said it was the first time he ever met the Eagles quarterback.
"It was kind of sit-down, tell me about yourself, and see where he's coming from [meeting]," Kelly said. "I really liked my meeting with Mike."
He said he also spoke with Nick Foles on the phone. Kelly said he wasn't any closer to making a decision at quarterback, but he must make one by Feb. 6, when a provision in Vick's contract kicks in and guarantees him $3 million.
Talking 'bout practice
Kelly's practices have become the stuff of lore.
Eyewitnesses claim they're the fastest ever. Kelly was asked if he could keep up that pace in the NFL, where he'll have a smaller number of players than college allows during the season.
"I think you have to adjust to the numbers," Kelly said. "We obviously had more numbers in college. The Philadelphia Eagles are a football team, not a cross-country team. If we go at the pace that we practiced at Oregon, then we'd have a real good cross-country team. But we're not playing in Valley Forge Park. We're playing at the Linc."