What we know about Chip Kelly so far
The truth is, we are still pretty much in the dark when it comes to the Eagles' new coach.
What we don't know about Chip Kelly could fill the Free Library. I like it that way, to be truthful. By the end, the relationship we all had with Andy Reid was like an old married couple. We really could finish each other's sentences. He felt our pain. We knew he would take the blame. And on and on.
Kelly is glib and informative -- but remember, he has not lost a game yet, and losses tend to be where glib takes a holiday. Even with that, though, we really have no idea what is coming.
This is dangerous, of course, but here is my early attempt to put 2 and 2 together and not come up with 14.
First, it seems as if Kelly and general manager Howie Roseman have developed a good working relationship. If you watched the draft, you saw a team that respected the process -- which is what the general manager is in charge of. You didn't see the Eagles trading up to get one of Kelly's former players, Dion Jordan, with the third spot. You didn't see them grabbing a bunch of Oregon guys, period. You did see Kelly seem to give Roseman a mandate about what types of players he wanted -- bigger and stronger, mostly -- and you saw the general manager take that list and go shopping. It is how the thing should work in 2013.
Second, there was the whole Matt Barkley business -- which is now piled upon the keeping of Nick Foles. Plenty of people have made this point already but it cannot be overstated: if Kelly is willing to give both Barkley and Foles a look, it means that he is not absolutely married to the read-option as the guiding principle of his offense. It suggests someone who is willing to tailor his philosophy to his talent -- which, again, is how the thing should work in 2013, where NFL strategies evolve in a blink.
Third, the only thing I feel confident in saying about Kelly is that he will try to play at a faster tempo this season -- more plays per game. That is the part of his Oregon philosophy that he is likely to implement. He will be limited primarily by how much of the pace that his offensive linemen can handle, but there is no reason why they cannot accomplish this.
Fourth, on defense, no idea. But based upon what we have seen so far, it would probably be fair to surmise that Kelly will keep to his word and pretty much let new coordinator Bill Davis run the show.
But that's really it. Anything much deeper than that is really a total guess. And the truth is, not knowing at this point is a big part of the fun.