Since becoming the Head Coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Chip Kelly has sprinkled in quite a few of his former pupils to the team's roster. The former Oregon play-caller has added the likes of Dennis Dixon, Patrick Chung, Isaac Remington and Will Murphy to the Eagles' squad over the last few months in mostly-supporting roles. This weekend, Kelly went back further in time (and his coaching tree) for his latest pickup.
New Eagles' wide receiver David "Dave" Ball played for Kelly at the University of New Hampshire several years ago. While Kelly was in charge of the New Hampshire program, Ball was his number one play-maker. Ball's success under Kelly at the Division I-AA level was comparable to that of Hall of Famer Jerry Rice. In fact, he broke two of the Rice's long-standing records while playing at the school. Ball left college as the Division I-AA career-leader in touchdown receptions and 100-yard receiving games. He is also second to Rice in career receiving yards.
After going undrafted in 2007, Ball signed with the Bears but was cut after the preseason. He then bounced around the NFL, CFL and AFL for four years before finally debuting for Pittsburgh Power in 2011. Ball spent last year out of football, but Kelly has decided to give the 29-year old another shot at his dream.
Ball isn't expected to make the Eagles' roster, but if anything, his experience with Kelly will help him teach others on the team. While you shouldn't expect a long stay for the "White Rice (yes, they actually called him that in college)," the fact that he was brought into the fold means that the coaching staff has a specific purpose for him. That purpose will be revealed over the next few weeks.
Here is a look at Dave Ball at New Hampshire (Creed Warning: Turn Off The Volume):