Not everyone was sure what to make of Chip Kelly when the former Oregon Ducks coach was hired by the Philadelphia Eagles. There was no disputing Kelly's college success but it was unclear how he would measure up in NFL.
It did not take long for Kelly to prove he could have success at the professional level. The Eagles went 10-6 in his rookie season. Kelly became only the second head coach since the merger to win a division title in his first season on a NFL coaching staff. Barry Switzer also did so in 1994 as the head coach of the Cowboys. A notable difference is that Switzer took over a Dallas team that just a Super Bowl in two consecutive seasons. Contrast that scenario to how Kelly inherited a 4-12 Eagles team that looked awful in 2012.
The success Kelly had in his first season doesn't appear to be just a fluke, either. The Eagles are off to a good start with a 8-3 record and a first place lead in the NFC East.
And speaking of the division, other teams have taken a notice to Kelly's success. Philadelphia's division opponents have seen what Kelly is capable of and they're trying to find a way to stop him.
According to former Oregon Ducks defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti, via The Oregonian, all three NFC East teams outside of Philadelphia have approached him with a job offer.
"I have been asked by everybody in the NFC East..." the retired Aliotti said on Monday. "The Giants asked me to come back when Chip got the first job. I didn't feel right doing that. Some teams have called when they're getting ready to play the Eagles and they call and have certain questions on the thing. Unless I know the guy and he's a good friend, I don't get involved with that."
Now, I'm sure this isn't the first time something like this has happened in the NFL. Secrets get shared and coaches talk. Not to mention that Washington, New York, and Dallas wouldn't be doing their jobs if they weren't trying to exploit any advantage they could. Still, it's funny to see the kind of impact Kelly has had on the division in such a short amount of time.
Kelly can become the first NFC East coach to win back-to-back division titles since Andy Reid in the early 2000's if Philadelphia finds a way to finish on top again. The only thing standing in the way of a repeat performance is the Cowboys, whom the Eagles play for the first time this season on Thursday.