Eagles Confirm Shocker: Chip Kelly

(AP Photo)

The Eagles just confirmed a report by ESPN's Chris Mortensen that Oregon coach Chip Kelly, who turned down the Eagles to stay with the Ducks, has now agreed to coach the Eagles.

A press conference is beign scheduled for later today, the team said.

Kelly, 49, was widely seen as the Eagles' top priority when the search began, but after a nine-hour meeting Jan. 5 in Arizona, two days after the Ducks' Fiesta Bowl triumph over Kansas State, Kelly said he was staying at Oregon. Something changed, one presumes. Often in the such situations, what changes is the money on the table.

Kelly is the personification of the young, offensive-minded innovator Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie outlined when he fired 14-year coach Andy Reid. His biggest negative is that he never played or coached in the NFL, and at the Fiesta Bowl, he seemed more wary of than interested in the league.

Previously, multiple accounts said Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley left Philadelphia Wednesday morning for his scheduled interview in Jacksonville.

This doesn't mean Bradley won't be the next Eagles coach, but it does mean the Birds didn't seize the day and sign him while he was in town, as many fans were hoping.

Before the Kelly bombshell, the best educated guess, from talking to people involved in the process, was that Bradley and former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt were the top two remaining candidates. The Eagles also liked former Bears coach Lovie Smith, who interviwed last week, and it isn't clear that he is out of the picture.

This is a difference with the 1999 search that produced Andy Reid; back then, the Eagles were the only team interviewing the former Packers quarterbacks coach for a head coaching job.

There is no indication so far that the Eagles have any more interviews planned.