The Eagles officially introduced Chip Kelly as their new head coach on Thursday. Here are some highlights from the news conference.
Jeffrey Lurie: This is a very, very exciting day for the Philadelphia Eagles. Exciting day for our city, and an exciting day for Eagles fans across the country… It’s been an excellent process … a carefully, targeted process… As I said early on, the whole key was to try to find the right leader, not make the fastest decision. We studied Chip [Kelly] for a long, long time. Everything we’d ever heard was so true…
Chip Kelly: It’s a real exciting time for me. The passion of this franchise was very, very evident. It was a difficult decision for me but this is a special situation … I knew this was the place for me, just needed to find a way to do it the right way… I’m excited. I know about the fan base in Philadelphia, and that excites me. Andy [Reid] told me what this organization is all about. There’s not a classier guy [than Reid]. I want to publically thank Andy.
The following quotes are all from Chip Kelly:
On transition to NFL: Football is football, and this is football at its highest level… It’s about putting together a great coaching staff and having great players… It’s still the game of football. It’s still X’s and O’s.
On putting together a staff: I’m right in the middle of [making a staff]. That’s been my first order of business since I arrived here.
On coaching the Eagles: I don’t think anyone envisioned this but I’m excited about the opportunity.
On continuing the tradition of the Eagles: That’s extremely important to me… Every day you come to work there’s a standard of excellence that needs to be lived up to… I don’t know what the future holds but I know that this organization is one of the top organizations in all of sports. I don’t take that lightly.
On his offense and the quarterback: There’s perception and reality. The perception is we run our quarterback all of the time. Reality is that’s not the case... I’m a huge fan of [Nick Foles]. He’s tough… He’s a competitor. He’s accurate and I’m excited about that… I don’t have any preconceived notions. I’m looking at film and looking at what direction we’re going to head here.
On Michael Vick: I’m going to look at everybody. We’re going to look at everything we can do to put the best product out on the field. There’s nothing that’s on the board right now. There’s nothing that’s off the board right now. We’re going to put an offense on the field that’s going to score points.
On his message to players: I can’t speak to anything that went on before here because I wasn’t here… We have one goal and that’s to get to the Super Bowl… The game of football is played by everybody. It’s a team deal. The best team wins.
On his decision to come to the Eagles: The people in the organization. The hardest thing for me leaving Oregon was the people. For me to leave, there had to be people here. The time I met with Howie [Roseman], Jeffrey [Lurie] and Don [Smolenski], it was evident to me of their passion and commitment. I knew it was a great fit… I’m an NFL coach and this is where I want to be. I made the jump and I’m here, and I’m excited to be here.
My goal right now is clearly defining what we want. What is a quarterback? What do we want here? … I’ve heard questions about “I want control over this. I want control over that.” I want to coach football. It’s a collaboration. We all want to be on the same page. I'm a football coach. I'm not a GM. I'm not a salary-cap guy. I just want to coach football. I have no delusions of “I want all of these titles.” I just want to coach football.
What he likes about the Eagles: The one thing that attracts me about the roster is the youth… Youth and speed are two things you can’t coach. I think we can win, but I’m not a guy who makes predictions. I’m not giving you a number [on the amount of wins the Eagles will get].
On defense: In terms of what do we want to be, we’re going to be an attacking-style defense… I can’t tell you we’ll be doing this or that.
On his coaching style: I never wanted to get pigeonholed as “this” ... I feel like I’ve got a pretty well rounded background in offense, defense and special teams.
On his timetable to make a decision: It was more my timetable than anyone else’s… I’m not stringing anybody along… I wanted to do it the right way. For me it was “how do I handle this to people at the University of Oregon.” I wanted them to find out from me… It told me a lot about [the Eagles] organization is that [they gave me time to think about the decision].
On impending NCAA sanctions at Oregon: We fully cooperated with [the NCAA]. It didn’t factor into my decision [to leave].