The exodus of Chip Kelly followers from Oregon to Philadelphia has begun. News has leaked out in the last day or so about several Oregon assistants that are following Chip Kelly to join his staff here with the Eagles, but James Harris might be the most interesting.
Harris has left his position as chief of staff to take a job with the Eagles. A team source confirmed to me that Harris' role will not be on the personnel side. He will focus exclusively on working with coach Kelly.
According to the original report, "numerous Oregon players have cited Harris' influence over the years for his role as a mentor, in everything from paying bills on time and maintaining a valid driver's license to making plans for post-football careers."
The Eagles have said that what most impressed them about Chip Kelly wasn't simply his ideas about offense, it was his overall vision for how an organization should be run. That includes how a team should practice, how strength and conditioning should be done, how injuries should be prevented and having guys like James Harris available as a resource to players.
Harris started at Oregon as a dietician, but has grown into more of a father/brother figure to members of the Oregon football team. He's helped them out of tough situations and served as a go-between with the coach. This link was posted in the comments that explains a lot more about how Harris grew his role with the Ducks.
I think someone like this is fantastic for the organization. It certainly sounds like he could be a great mentor to the youth on the team.
But like I said, the most revealing thing is that we're seeing take shape is Chip Kelly's vision for this organization. So far, so good.