Chip Kelly and the Eagles have made no secret of wanting to improve the secondary over the offseason. And as the offseason camps begin in South Philadelphia, the Eagles have brought in some additional firepower for the secondary—just not in the way you might expect. Per Les Bowen of the Daily News, former Eagles safety Quintin Mikell has joined the team as a coaching intern.
Quintin Mikell in the house as a coaching intern. Says he is not available to play opposite Malcolm Jenkins.— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) June 8, 2015
It's unclear at this point what Mikell's role on the coaching staff is, but former players often begin their coaching careers as summer interns. Since being hired as the head coach in 2013, Kelly has proven that he isn't afraid to bring former Eagles on to the coaching staff. Running backs coach Duce Staley is the most obvious example, and until this offseason left tackle Tra Thomas worked on the staff as an offensive assistant. Lito Sheppard also served as a coaching intern last summer.
An undrafted free agent out of Boise State in 2003, Mikell spent his first eight seasons in the league with the Eagles. During that time he cracked the starting lineup and eventually made the Pro Bowl in 2009 and was named second-team All-Pro in 2008 and 2010. For many of those years he lined up next to the immortal Brian Dawkins, and formed arguably the best safety tandem in recent Eagles history. After leaving Philadelphia in 2011, Mikell went on to play three more seasons in St. Louis and Carolina.
It's easy to see why Kelly would be like the idea of bringing in a player like Mikell. A quality starting safety in his own right, Mikell also excelled on special teams and was, in many ways, the kind of unsung hero Philadelphia fans love. While we'll have to wait and see what his role on the coaching staff actually entails, it's always good to see former players come back to Philadelphia.