PHILADELPHIA - New Eagles head coach Chip Kelly isn't married.
That's true of both his relationship status and his approach to the Eagles' offense.
Because Kelly is known for developing the read-option offense that produced nearly 50 points per game this season at the University of Oregon, it was assumed that Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles' days with the team were numbered. Kelly usually relied on a mobile quarterback to operate his high-octane scheme. and while Foles is athletic, he may be slower than some of the Eagles' offensive linemen.
But upon being introduced as the Eagles' coach Thursday at the NovaCare Complex, Kelly made it clear that the Eagles won't necessarily run the same offense he used at Oregon.
"There is perception and there is reality," Kelly said. "The perception is that the quarterback is running the ball all the time and that's not the reality. The key is understanding your personnel and maximizing it. Asking people to do what they're not capable of doing is a recipe for disaster.
"The one thing that attracts me about the roster is the youth. It's one of the youngest teams in the league. And you have to watch about three plays to understand the speed. Youth and speed are two things you can't coach."
The Eagles' offense didn't score many points this season. Foles and Michael Vick combined to lead a unit that averaged 17.3 points per game and produced just 29 offensive touchdowns.
Oregon averaged 49.6 points per game this season and scored at a 44.7 points-per-game clip during Kelly's four seasons as the Ducks' head coach.
Kelly said he was very impressed with Foles' competitiveness and toughness, having coached against him when the quarterback was at the University of Arizona.
"In terms of Nick, I'm a huge fan of his," Kelly said. "He's tough and I think a lot of people don't understand what toughness means to the quarterback spot. We hit him as many times as we could hit him and he just kept getting up and making plays."
Vick, one of the top running quarterbacks in NFL history, would appear to be better-suited to Kelly's schemes, but he will have to restructure his contract in order to have any hope of staying with the team.
Vick is scheduled to make $15.5 million in 2013 as part of the six-year, $100 million contract he signed one year ago. He is due to receive a $3 million roster bonus if he is still with the Eagles on Feb. 6, three days after the Super Bowl.
"Nothing is on the board and nothing is off the board at this point," Kelly said. "I have no preconceived notions about anyone. All I know is that we're going to have an offense that will score points and we'll do whatever it takes to get the ball across the (goal) line. If you can throw the ball and run the ball, I'll take you out there.
"I don't know if you're the next Vince Papale, but I'll tell you right now we're going to look at everything we can do to put the best product on the field. There's nobody ruled in and there's nobody ruled out at the this point in time."
Kelly said he has started forming a coaching staff and evaluating the players on the roster.
Several of former coach Andy Reid's assistants, including wide receivers coach David Culley, tight ends coach Tom Melvin and quarterbacks coach Doug Pederson, have followed Reid to Kansas City. Pederson will be the Chiefs' offensive coordinator.
Considering the way the Eagles' defense struggled last season, it's a safe bet that defensive coordinator Todd Bowles won't be back in that post. University of Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is believed to be at the top of Kelly's wish list.
Kelly and Eagles general manager Howie Roseman will work together on the player personnel side, though Kelly will wield considerable power.
"As (owner) Jeffrey Lurie likes to say, we have a very 'coach-centric' system here," Roseman said. "It's all about helping Chip get the players who will enable him to be successful. It's like a funnel system. It's going to be a collaborative effort to get the players that best fit his schemes.
"I'm very excited to be working with Chip. One of the most impressive things about him is he's a trendsetter. He's not a disciple of anyone."
Extra points: Both Kelly and Lurie gave credit to Reid for his help in the process that led to Kelly being named his successor. When Kelly was considering joining the Eagles, Reid was one of the first people he contacted.
"Andy told me about his experience here and just told me what this organization is all about," Kelly said. "There's not a classier guy. When Andy texted me after I accepted the job, I told him I had really, really, really big shoes to fill. In typical Andy fashion, he said, 'Just be yourself and you'll be fine.' That really spoke to me about what this organization is all about."
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