The idea came from none other than Bill Belichick.
"[Patriots head coach Bill Belichick] called me, I didn't call him," explained Chip Kelly. "I have known Bill for a while, I used to go visit the Patriots while I was in college. I have a ton of respect for him. He presented it, it makes sense."
Chip said, what better way was there for the team to prepare to play the Patriots than... playing the Patriots?
"You have to prepare for your first preseason game, and instead of us trying to get looks to our defense of what our Patriots offense is going to look like, the Patriots offense is going to give us a look."
It's something that Belichick as done before and had success with.
"He presented the idea to me, he has done it before with the Buccaneers and the Saints. It sounded like a good idea to us and they were coming here so it really doesn't upset our schedule whatsoever. I think it's a positive thing and look forward to getting out there and getting a chance to compete with them."
You really do have to admire Bill Belichick for the fact that despite being around so long, he doesn't seem to be set in his ways. He always seems open to new ideas and trying new things. His relationships with up and coming college coaches like Chip Kelly and Greg Schiano (now Bucs head coach) are proof of that.
I have no doubt that the fact that Belichick has looked to the college game for a glimpse of the future of the NFL was not lost on the Eagles as they conducted their search for their next head man. Jeff Lurie has long been an admirer of how the Patriots organization operates and I would find it very easy to believe that Belichick's admiration of Chip Kelly certainly helped to shape Lurie's interest in the former Oregon man.