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Chip Kelly says it was “really tough” to leave Oregon

ChipKelly Getty Images

On Thursday, Chip Kelly formally will be introduced as the new coach of the Eagles.  When he arrived in Philadelphia on Wednesday night, he spoke briefly with reporters regarding his decision to leave Oregon.

It was really tough,” Kelly said, via Tim McManus of PhillyMag.com. “I left a special, special place.  And that’s probably what took me so long to make a decision.  The challenge is what I was excited about, and that’s why I came.  It’s a great city, it’s an iconic franchise, they’ve got an unbelievable owner.  But I left some great people back at Oregon and that was the tough part.”

But he actually made a decision.  He was staying at Oregon.  And then he unmade the decision, and he left college football.

“I was sold on the Eagles the first time I met them,” Kelly said.  “It was just my ties to Oregon.  It was a people deal.  I have great players there, an unbelievable coaching staff, that’s what made it hard because it’s a human decision.  The Eagles are the Eagles.  This is the NFL.”

And there’s a good chance the NFL offered him more money and/or power once it appeared that he was willing to reconsider his decision.

Eagles fans are excited, though some may cringe a little at Kelly’s initial attempt at humor.

“I got a text on the plane that I was getting tracked like Santa Claus, which is flattering until I remembered the Philly fans booed Santa Claus,” Kelly said.  “I hope they don’t boo me.”

Chip, Philly fans are kind of sensitive about the whole Santa Claus thing.  So the boos may begin sooner than you ever anticipated.

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40 Responses to “Chip Kelly says it was “really tough” to leave Oregon”
  1. joshuavkidd says: Jan 16, 2013 9:44 PM

    i hate the whole santa claus reference but i thought that was actually kind of funny…

  2. fuglyflorio says: Jan 16, 2013 9:47 PM

    Lying to them and to high school recruits about not leaving … that was easy.

  3. The Shoeman says: Jan 16, 2013 9:49 PM

    Chip, Philly fans are kind of sensitive about the whole Santa Claus thing. So the boos may begin sooner than you ever anticipated.
    ——————————————

    We know it was a joke.
    Let’s not try to make a story out of nothing . . media types.

    Can’t wait to get to it !

  4. rajbais says: Jan 16, 2013 9:50 PM

    I would believe you if you said this as Tampa’s coach!!!

    You acted like Brett Favre, became wishy washy, and pulled strings to get leverage!!!

    Sorry, but he’s not going to last more than 4 years (at best) because his heart and mind are not at one place 24/7. The last three teams he’s negotiated with are examples.

  5. nnagi says: Jan 16, 2013 9:51 PM

    it won’t be long before the eagles regret this one…

  6. wingslax35 says: Jan 16, 2013 9:51 PM

    Considering the booing was over 40 years ago, yeah, time to get over it.

  7. jr4real says: Jan 16, 2013 9:53 PM

    Why do they even open their mouths?

  8. isonic1 says: Jan 16, 2013 9:56 PM

    There’s a Jason, Mike, Tom and Chip. Which one doesn’t belong!?

  9. thegreatgabbert says: Jan 16, 2013 10:01 PM

    Really tough to leave Oregon. The passes were snowed in over the high country, there wasn’t any grass for the oxen to forage, hostile savages were encountered, wagon wheels broke down in the cold…….

  10. metalhead65 says: Jan 16, 2013 10:05 PM

    It was a real tough decision to make untill he realized what the ncaa had on oregon and knew the hammer was coming down soon. Hope they let the recruits change their minds since he lied to them.

  11. dolphins4 says: Jan 16, 2013 10:05 PM

    This was a better hire than Gus Bradley would have been.

  12. armeniandelight4 says: Jan 16, 2013 10:10 PM

    fuglyflorio says:Jan 16, 2013 9:47 PM

    Lying to them and to high school recruits about not leaving … that was easy.

    ————–

    Sounds like the same viewpoint that PSU fans had when Bill O’Brien was entertaining offers from the NFL. “How dare he betray our school? How dare he take the next step in his career and embrace new challenges and his dream of being a coach in the pro’s? It’s all about ME!” Kelly’s players respect him and his decision, and they respect the mark that he has made on their program. But they also know that Oregon football will live on, with or without him there, and that it’s up to them to pick up where he left off.

  13. skinsfaninnebraska says: Jan 16, 2013 10:13 PM

    Zero NFL experience, but hired as an NFL head coach.

    At least Steve Spurrier had PLAYED in the NFL before.

  14. urboial says: Jan 16, 2013 10:15 PM

    We’ll boo you the minute something goes bad

  15. hatesycophants says: Jan 16, 2013 10:24 PM

    This guy’s a douche bag. No way around it.

    Maybe Chip has a dead girlfriend he’d like to tell us about?

  16. 3fingerlenny says: Jan 16, 2013 10:34 PM

    Wonder if chip hit pizza city up after he arrived at ne Philly airport

  17. dannythebisforbeast says: Jan 16, 2013 10:34 PM

    Historical innacuracies: Santa was booed AND pelted with snowballs. Least get the tired old facts right.

    BOO.. Strange little word. Say it 10x fast…. Sounds like a 3 year old not something that makes some grown men unable to do their job.

  18. thesmedman says: Jan 16, 2013 10:35 PM

    The philadelphia media is going to kill this guy. And as much as their sanctimony drove me nuts when I grew up in Philadelphia, I am going to enjoy this.

    Uh, Mr Kelly, why are you running away from Oregon under a cloud of NCAA sanctions? What message does that send to the Philadelphia community? Can you justify, to the players at Oregon, on why you made this move?

    Mr Kelly, this franchise has a history of strong defense. What is your philosophy on defense? How did you – or did you – oversee defense at U/Oregon?

    Mr. Kelly, on grocery shopping, is it more important to shop for them or cook em?

    Mr Kelly, what is the kind of player that fits your football team? Does what happens off the field impact how you view players?

    Mr Kelly,you’re not in the best shape yourself. What message is that to players?

  19. icdogg says: Jan 16, 2013 10:37 PM

    We didn’t just boo Santa Claus. We threw snowballs at him.

  20. surefooted1 says: Jan 16, 2013 10:38 PM

    Man, 40 years and people still don’t know the story behind the Sant Claus incident.

  21. icdogg says: Jan 16, 2013 10:39 PM

    The Santa Claus thing was 1968, by the way, and mostly we were upset because the Eagles won a couple of games we should have lost, which cost us the right to draft, of all people, O.J. Simpson.

  22. selbyrj82 says: Jan 16, 2013 10:45 PM

    Get ready for a few more years of no defense out of Philly. Im not sold on this guy at all. No defense at Oregon, runs a trickery offense, and when’s the last time an Oregon player was a household NFL name? Certainly been a while. Good college coach, not confident he will translate to the NFL. Prove me wrong if you must Chip, but right now I think the Eagles made a big mistake.

  23. seattlerogueburner says: Jan 16, 2013 10:46 PM

    Leaving Oregon for the NFL while an investigation is going on by the NCAA? Now who has done that recently thus causing all non Seattle fans to oust him as Pete the Cheat? No mention of that?

  24. upperdecker19 says: Jan 16, 2013 10:47 PM

    More like…..you were being tracked like Donovan McNabb at the 1999 draft. Fixed.

  25. tfbuckfutter says: Jan 16, 2013 10:53 PM

    “Which pile of money do I want….the big one….or the bigger one?” isn’t really a tough decision to most people.

  26. thetooloftools says: Jan 16, 2013 11:12 PM

    Yea.. we should all feel $$$$$orry for him.

  27. irishgary says: Jan 16, 2013 11:22 PM

    This franchise is gonna suck for years. Kelly will never transition and the Eagles owner is only going after a name instead of doing some homework.

  28. fearthehoody says: Jan 16, 2013 11:26 PM

    Who said snakes couldn’t talk!?

  29. jiggy3198 says: Jan 16, 2013 11:30 PM

    It was tough until he saw the check

  30. paredskinwarrior1985 says: Jan 16, 2013 11:45 PM

    I hope he fails. i think he will make philly ok tho but the defense will be the thing that prevents the eagles from the playoffs!!!

    I sure would love to see the redskins and Kyle shanahan add some parts of kellys offense to our current offense and continue to evolve it into something great. I want to see a completely no huddle pistol read option offense, with a peyton manning audible option added to it also

  31. hardballtalkusername says: Jan 17, 2013 12:00 AM

    selbyrj82 says:
    “…when’s the last time an Oregon player was a household NFL name? Certainly been a while.”

    I’m not sure what you mean by household name but Ngata, Max Unger, and Jairus Byrd are all in the top 5 at their position. Also, Oregon’s “gimmicky” offense was researched by Bill Bellichek and Oregon’s defense is actually pretty underrated as they are on the field 70% of the time since their offense moves so quickly. Best of luck to Chip, I think he has a good chance at success, but this is the NFL and it usually comes down to finding the right QB. I don’t think this will be any exception.

  32. cav2ya says: Jan 17, 2013 1:39 AM

    haters are gonna hate.
    as an eagles fan, even if the first game is a loss, i cant wait to hear the press conference afterwards.. no more”thats on me” or “we need to do better there” or ” ill have to look at that” BS…

    And since when does a college coach not deserve a shot? if i remember correctly, Dick Vermiel was a coach at USC or UCLA, one of them.. and look where he took the birds…

  33. kappy32 says: Jan 17, 2013 2:19 AM

    Dream Team led by Chip Kelly? SUPER BOWL!!!

    Yeah, right. Eli Manning & the King NY Football Giants will get rid of their Super Bowl Hangover in time for the 2013 season where they will retake the rightful spot on top of the NFC East & Chip will be wishing he stayed back in school. Chip is going to learn real quick that the NFC East most definitely isn’t the weak PAC-12. Good luck, Chip, you’re going to need it.

  34. thesmedman says: Jan 17, 2013 4:05 AM

    BTW, it wasn’t Santa Claus, but someone dressed up as Santa Claus. On a lawyer like Mr Florio cold appreciate this semantic. Lol

    Stupid of Kelly to reference this, which reinforces the terrible PR job the Eagles have done here, and the massive PR job they need to do to justify the hiring of a HC with zero NFL experience, and one who is considering hiring a DC with zero NFL experience. The Philadelphia Inquirer had a poll on their website which asked if hiring someone with no zero NFL experience was good, bad, or that it worked out well with Dick Vermeil cog from college. Hate to inform the Inky, but Vermeil had previous NFL experience.

  35. jacobks19 says: Jan 17, 2013 8:33 AM

    I’ll have you know that the snowball incident is a point of pride. I don’t care what he says as long as he gets us the Lombardi trophy.

  36. hodag54501 says: Jan 17, 2013 8:39 AM

    Lesson to all college recruits after seeing what Bret Bielema and Chip Kelly did: don’t believe a word the coaches say.
    The next lesson is coming to Kelly: the NFL defenses will quickly adapt to the high-pressure offense you deliver. After they stop that cold, what are you going to have?
    I suspect the upcoming sanctions by the NCAA against Oregon likely had something to do with his “decision”, “changed my mind”, “oops, changed my mind again”.
    Good luck, Eagles fans. “oops, changed my mind”, not good luck.

  37. janvanflac says: Jan 17, 2013 9:40 AM

    I don’t see how that offense translates to the NFL. Unless he has something totally different in mind and is such a genius that he can make it work.

  38. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jan 17, 2013 11:41 AM

    Get the feeling that poor Kelly has no idea what he is getting himself into. From Oregon to Philly will be real social adjustment. A different world from where he is leaving.

  39. selbyrj82 says: Jan 17, 2013 3:05 PM

    hardballtalkusername says:
    Jan 17, 2013 12:00 AM
    selbyrj82 says:
    “…when’s the last time an Oregon player was a household NFL name? Certainly been a while.”

    I’m not sure what you mean by household name but Ngata, Max Unger, and Jairus Byrd are all in the top 5 at their position. Also, Oregon’s “gimmicky” offense was researched by Bill Bellichek and Oregon’s defense is actually pretty underrated as they are on the field 70% of the time since their offense moves so quickly

    ………………………………………………………..
    Let me clarify by household name- yes those guys are good at their respective position. But Philly didnt hire Chip Kelly for his development of Centers, 3-4 scheme DE’s and FS’s. The “star-power”- RB’s, WR’s QBs that has been under Kellys regime lacks anyone for the most part who has succeeded in the NFL. Granted he’s only a rookie, but LaMicahel James was a stud in college and is an after thought on Jim Harbaugh’s bench. That’s what I meant. Also, Bellicheck studied his gimmicky offense- what’s your point? Studying it isnt the same as using it. Lastly, underrated defense maybe Regardless, it was not a defense that opened any eyes, and it was in the mediocre Pac-12. Basically the point is that his defensive history at Orgeon leaves no indication that his defense in Philly, an already struggling definsive team, is going to be any good. It could, but theres no evidence to suggest it, that’s all I was saying.

    Like I said, Im not saying Im right, Chip could prove me wrong. Im just not sold on his success in the NFL, QB or not.

  40. hardballtalkusername says: Jan 17, 2013 5:03 PM

    Lol, do you actually watch the Patriots? They absolutely use the hurry-up like Oregon does, to catch the defense off-guard and prevent them from substituting. Just look at their use of the hurry up at the goal line that led to a TD. I also hate the phrase “gimmicky offense.” If an offense works, it works, no matter what you want to call it, and we certainly see this “gimmicky” read-option stuff succeeding in San Fran, Seattle, and Washington. Lastly, the Pac-12 is far from mediocre and he has been a head coach for 4 seasons, with 4 BCS bowl appearances. Chip Kelly is clearly just a gimmick, SMH.

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