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.