It's a high stakes gamble on a high plains drifter…but Lurie got his man.
It took a lot of dough to get Chip Kelly to move from Oregon to Philly. The details of his contract have not been released yet, but my source at The Phanatic estimates Kelly will be paid $9 million in combined salary and signing bonus for his first year alone as head coach of the Eagles.
I would have led with this pic, but it's obviously a Photoshopped image…
It's fun to look back at the beginning of Chip Kelly's coaching career, where he earned $7500 for his first paying gig as an assistant coach for the freshman team at Columbia U. (1990). He worked his way up to outside linebackers and strong safeties coach on the varsity team the next year. He then accepted a job at New Hampshire (his alma mater) as running backs coach in 1992, which paid $24,500 at the time. Then he jumped to little Division 3 school Johns Hopkins U. in 1993 for his "big break"—the defensive coordinator position, which moved him up into the $40+ K payroll range.
He returned to New Hampshire for the next 12 seasons. He was the OC there in 2006 when he interviewed for the same position at Oregon and got the job in 2007. And the rest is Big Money history.
He's playing with house money now.
A lot of folks seem concerned that Kelly will be unprepared for the big-city-media pressure that will surround his every move with the Eagles. Imagine his first two-game losing streak and how that will be scrutinized, and so forth…All I know for sure is Kelly and his agent can cry all the way to the bank.
At the very least, the gamble on Kelly is going to pay off big for the media. He provides entertainment value with a lot to talk and write about…
Right now the buzz is all the unanswered questions about what the Eagles will look like as Kelly attempts to paint his masterpiece.
I am like a kid in a candy store right now, soaking up all the insights and predictions of our Bored posters here. There's so much for me to learn about Kelly and his theoretical impact on the team, and the best information I'm getting is coming from our posters. For this I am grateful and lucky.
Did I think Gus Bradley would be a better fit here? Yes, but only because I fear the unknown—and that's my personal problem. And if I'm honest with myself, I need to grow a pair and GET IN with Chip Kelly.
It's no secret that many fans at Oregon refer to Kelly as "Big Balls Chip" for his unpredictable and stubborn in-game approach to playcalling and his willingness to gamble on uncoventional methods. So who am I to question his way of doing things? He's a high stakes gambler who's used to winning, and he seems to know what cards to play.
It will be entertaining to watch what Kelly does with the Iggles defense. Most of the talk is about the "blur offense" he ran at Oregon. But I'm focused right now on whom he picks as his defensive coordinator and what happens from there.
Rumor has it that Kelly may bring in Coach Grantham from Georgia to be his new DC. If true, welcome to the "big people beat up little people" era of Philly defense. A big physical 3-4 defense? Part of the fun is wondering if, how and when.