In keeping with tradition, the
Here's betting we're going to enjoy this guy.
For years, the Eagles had the least quotable coach in football —
Of course, Kelly is looking to put a more significant stamp on the game than his sense of humor and, in this case, perspective. He's an offensive innovator, first at New Hampshire and then at Oregon, and his play-calling is even quicker than his wit.
"I think Chip Kelly is going to have as much influence on the game and the way it's played now as anyone," Hall of Fame coach
"Everyone talks about it: Can Chip Kelly do what he did in college? Probably not in its entirety, but he can do a lot of it. Not only that, everyone else is going to do a lot of it."
When people talk about Kelly, they almost always talk about his offenses. But the quality of Philadelphia's defense is equally important. Consider this: If the Eagles can't move the ball, and they're running plays in rapid-fire succession, their defensive players will barely have time to take a few drags off the oxygen masks before they're back on the field.
Kelly said the offensive decisions he made as a college coach were always predicated on what kind of defense he had.
"I had total faith in our defense, so I wasn't averse to putting our defense on the field in any situation," he said. "I think a lot of that has to do with you making decisions. It's a risk-reward. What's the reward? Obviously, you get a first down. What's the risk? You're turning the ball over at that point in time on the field. So are you comfortable enough with your defense to put your defense on the field in that situation?"
A glimpse at the seven other new coaches:
REID, Kansas City: The only coach in this year's crop who had been a non-interim NFL head coach before, Reid coached the Eagles for 14 seasons, going 130-93-1 in the regular season but only 10-9 in the playoffs. Philadelphia parted ways with him after an 8-8 record last season.
Alex Smith, discarded by San Francisco despite being among the league's highest-rated quarterbacks after he suffered a concussion and subsequently lost his job last season, joins Reid in Kansas City.
"We'd love to stick it to everybody who thought we couldn't do it, he and I included," Smith told the
MIKE McCOY, San Diego: The
McCoy has familiarity with "presto-change-o" transformations. Two years ago, when the Broncos made the abrupt switch from more traditional quarterback
"The thing about Mike is, he's got a plan," Rivers said. "He didn't just say, 'I'll figure it out as I go.' He's got a way he wants to do it. That's clear. When you go .500 the last three years, you're ready to believe. You're tired of being .500. You're ready to say, 'All right, I'll sign up. I'm in.'"
MARC TRESTMAN, Chicago: The
He's rich with experience in this league, though, having made nine NFL stops between 1985 and 2004, usually as a quarterbacks coach, offensive coordinator, or both.
ROB CHUDZINSKI, Cleveland: For a coach who showed so much creativity with
In the survey, for instance, asked what he would be doing if he weren't coaching, he wrote: "Working in a business field."
He certainly needs to get down to business with the
GUS BRADLEY, Jacksonville: Of the eight new coaches, Bradley is the only one with a defensive background. He was defensive coordinator the previous four years in Seattle, and has the same type of boundless enthusiasm and energy as
"I had a vision of how I wanted to treat people and handle players," Bradley said. "In Seattle, it was really brought together. Me and Pete are similar in personality. We're intrigued by competition, by bringing people together. It's a driving force for us."
DOUG MARRONE, Buffalo: Marrone, formerly head coach at Syracuse, was hired to replace
The line of hurdles is getting longer, as the
Manuel returned to practice Sunday, ahead of schedule, so it looks as if the Bills won't have to turn to undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel to face New England in the opener. Still, Marrone faces an uphill struggle to return the Bills to respectability.
He feels comfortable in the NFL, though, and could adjust more quickly than some coaches who make the jump from college football. Before he was hired at Syracuse, Marrone was offensive coordinator in New Orleans from 2006 to '08. Prior to that, he was a
"I think it was a much more difficult transition for me going from being in the NFL for seven years and going back to Syracuse," he said, "than it was for me leaving Syracuse and going back to the NFL."
BRUCE ARIANS, Arizona: Arians made history in Indianapolis last season when, in replacing cancer-stricken
Now, for the first time in his 60 years, the longtime offensive architect gets a chance to be more than a stand-in head coach. So far, he doesn't sound concerned about taking over what looks to be the weakest team in the strongest division.
"It's just football," he said. "The
Arians has a keen sense of humor, which should help. On the survey, he was asked about the last book he read.