Chip Kelly showed up to the NovaCare complex today looking and sounding like he was ready to work. He wore a pair of slacks and a black Eagles coaches' polo, in stark contrast to the suited look that every other new head coach this season has opted for. He answered every question in a confident and straightforward manner, he cracked jokes and generally came off as the most comfortable guy in the room. You can certainly see what impressed Jeff Lurie so much when the two talked.
Perhaps the most surprising revelation was that one of the guys who sold Chip on the Eagles organization was none other than Andy Reid.
"Andy reached out to me and told me about his experience here and what this organization is all about," he said. "There's not a classier guy."
A classy move by Reid for sure and one that really told Chip a lot about the relationship that Andy had with Jeff Lurie and how special his relationship with the franchise was. He also says he spoke with Dick Vermeil, who also had nothing but good things to say.
Now let's try to hit all the big questions one by one....
Will he be the next Nick Saban or Bobby Petrino and run back to college if things get tough?
"I'm all in," he said. "I think it was Cortez who said 'burn the boats.' I've burned the boats and I'm not going back. I'm an NFL coach. I would have never made the decision if there was any trepidation left."
Did he require more control over personnel to come?
"Control was never an issue. I'm a football coach, not a GM or a salary cap guy. I have no delusion about wanting all these different titles. I just want to coach."
On making the switch from college to the pros.
"Football is football. This is football at the highest level, but it's still 11 on 11. It's still about building a great coaching staff and having great players."
Speaking of that coaching staff...
Kelly said he is "right in the middle" of putting together a staff. He said, "there's a protocol with getting permissions, but I was making calls yesterday. It's my top priority."
"We're going to put the best staff possible that has the same vision as me."
On Nick Foles
"I'm a huge fan of his. He's tough."
Kelly repeatedly emphasized how impressed he was with Foles' toughness and mentioned that no matter how many times his Ducks hit him in college, he kept getting up. He also recalled being very impressed when Foles completed a 13 yard pass left handed against them when under pressure.
On Michael Vick
"I'm going to look at everybody. If you can throw the ball and run, I'll take you out there," said Kelly referring to the reporter who asked the question. He said he's follow Michael's career and is certainly a fan. But he stressed that he's not ruled out or ruled in anyone at the QB spot.
On possible sanctions at Oregon playing a part in his decision
Any NCAA investigation into Oregon played "no factor in my decision." Kelly said he's fully cooperated with them.
On his offense and how he plans to translate it to the NFL
"I'm an equal opportunity scorer. We'll score any way we can."
This was really the running theme of virtually all Kelly's comments on personnel. It's about looking at what he's got, looking at what he can bring in and building your system around that.
Will he switch to a 3-4?
He would not commit to a 3-4 or 4-3. Said only that he wanted to play an attacking style defense and their front would depend on who they have and who they can bring in. He cares first and foremost that the defense "play fast, play hard & finish plays."
On his plans for how he'll deal with the defensive side of the ball
Kelly said he'll be involved in every aspect of the team, but he'll let his defensive coordinator run the defense on game days. He won't look over their shoulder and won't micromanage.
On his perception as an offensive coach
He says he started out on the defensive side of the ball as a coach, but that he's never been interested in being one or the other. He sees himself as a football coach and understands all three phases of the game.
On seeing the pictures of Eagles greats as he walked into the NovaCare complex...
"I always say, 'We can see further now because we stand on the shoulders of people who came before us.' It's my responsibility to uphold that tradition. Every day you come to work there's a standard of excellence that this organization stands for. I have to keep that up"
Finally, Kelly wasn't all business.
"I know in Philly the 2nd most important bowl behind the Super Bowl is the Wing Bowl."