New Eagles coach Chip Kelly is in the middle of putting together his coaching staff, and if his first hire is any indication, fans have to be excited about the approach he is taking when making bringing coaches to Philadelphia.
The Pat Shurmur hiring is expected to be officially announced within the next few days, and while his title is not yet known, the truth of the matter is that it does not really matter. Shurmur will help the offense in some capacity and will help develop whatever young quarterback- or veteran- the team decides to go with. While the Shurmur hire will not go down as one of the more exciting ones, that should not cover up the fact that it was an excellent move by Kelly and gives us an insight into what approach he is taking when bringing in coaches.
Bringing in Shurmur shows is in many ways a humble move by Kelly. Despite being thought of as an offensive genius, two things Kelly does not have is NFL experience and a history of developing quarterbacks. While how much his lack of experience will hurt him when the season starts can be debated, the fact is that Kelly will need someone to develop a quarterback for him at the pro-level. Kelly did not produce an NFL ready quarterback during his time at Oregon. Shurmur had a major hand in developing Donovan McNabb and has also worked with Sam Bradford. Shurmur will be a major asset to Kelly in helping him get whichever quarterback he decides to go with ready.
In addition, Shurmur's NFL experience is something that Kelly will need this season when figuring out how to build an offense for the NFL. There is no doubt that Kelly will still be "the man" on offense, but having a veteran coach in his ear will only help. It never hurts to have a differing opinion in your ear, someone to real you in when things might be getting out of hand.
This approach by Kelly- bringing in someone different from him and better in certain areas then he is- is a very different one then the approach Andy Reid used. Reid surrounded himself by similar coaches. Marty Mornhinweg and Doug Peterson were in many ways nothing more than "yes men" to Reid as they both had the same offensive philosophy as him. When things got out of hand- like say, 55 passes in a game- Reid had no one to reel him in. In many way's Reid refusal to change and try different things was the reason for his downfall.
Although he has only been here for a little over a week, Kelly has already shown more willingness to admit his flaws and listen to differing opinions then Reid ever did. It shows in the way he talks about his offense and now it shows in the moves he is making with his staff. The Shurmur hiring in many ways is exactly why many are confident that Kelly will win in the NFL- he is willing to learn from others and adjust. That should not be understated as a major positive sign we have seen from Kelly since he took over as Eagles head coach.
It's still early, but if Kelly continues to show this attitude in the rest of his moves with the Eagles, it will go a long way in getting the team back to being a consistent winner.
Follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks