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Tom Coughlin tried to get Chip Kelly to join Giants’ staff in 2006

Indianapolis Colts v New York Giants Getty Images

When Giants coach Tom Coughlin looks across the field at Eagles coach Chip Kelly on Sunday, he’ll be looking at a man he once tried to hire.

Coughlin was one of the first to recognize Kelly’s coaching talents, and in 2006, when Kelly was the offensive coordinator at New Hampshire, Coughlin tried to hire Kelly. To many coaches, the opportunity to jump from a I-AA college to the NFL would be a dream come true, but all Coughlin was offering Kelly was a quality control position, and Kelly wasn’t going to leave a job in which he had free rein to run an offense to take a job where all he did was break down tape for the more senior coaches on the Giants’ staff.

It was a quality control position,” Kelly told CSNPhilly.com. “It wasn’t coaching a position. When you get to a point where I was, doesn’t matter what level you’re at, you’re designing offenses, you’re calling plays, coaching an individual position. Even though it’s a huge step up going from New Hampshire to the Giants, that was it.”

Coughlin said he saw the potential in Kelly early on.

“We thought he was an outstanding young coach who had done a very, very good job, who was a good friend of one of the member’s of my staff,” Coughlin said. “When the position was available, we inquired about talking with Chip and had him in. Chip was an outstanding candidate. I think at that point in time he wanted something other than what we had available.”

Kelly seems to have made the right choice: A year after he turned down Coughlin, he accepted an offer to become the offensive coordinator at Oregon. Two years after that he became the head coach at Oregon, and after three years as the Ducks’ head coach he accepted the Eagles job. Coughlin may have thought Kelly was an outstanding young coach, but he probably didn’t think he’d be coaching against Kelly seven years after offering him a quality control job.

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9 Responses to “Tom Coughlin tried to get Chip Kelly to join Giants’ staff in 2006”
  1. Dennis Allen's Outgoing Persona says: Oct 3, 2013 3:39 PM

    wow, does time fly. 2006 was 7 years ago.. sheeesh.

  2. justinstuckrule says: Oct 3, 2013 3:46 PM

    Can’t do anything about this lousy Giants decision today. The Giants should have brought Kelly in as QB or receiver coach. Then they’d have a ready made head coach for the painful rebuilding they have to go through now.

  3. chicagogiantsfan says: Oct 3, 2013 3:54 PM

    justinstuckrule says:
    Oct 3, 2013 3:46 PM
    Can’t do anything about this lousy Giants decision today. The Giants should have brought Kelly in as QB or receiver coach. Then they’d have a ready made head coach for the painful rebuilding they have to go through now.
    ———————————————————-

    Glad to see that the Giants terrible record has made it easy for you to decide which side of the fence you’re on, now you don’t have to straddle both sides like you were all pre-season.

    Oh, and if they somehow happen to win a couple of games, and get themselves into the thick of the lousy NFC East (which is a distinct possibility), please stay away. Real Giants fans don’t want you anymore. Go front run for the Seahawks or something, OK?

  4. riggz91 says: Oct 3, 2013 4:17 PM

    Shows what great head coaches really do best. Not just one phase of the game a la Turner, Ryan, Phillips etc. They need to recognize talent at any and all levels. Giants are going through some tough times but no other coach I would want at the helm.

  5. bucsducksipa says: Oct 3, 2013 4:50 PM

    While Kelly has surely displayed some aptitude for innovation, the jury is still out on his ability to get it done on the NFL level, wouldn’t you say?

  6. justintuckrule says: Oct 3, 2013 4:52 PM

    thank god that didn’t work out. We won two rings with steady ball control not gimmicky, racing down the field and letting Tom Terrific annihilate us all game.

  7. bigbluelou says: Oct 3, 2013 4:57 PM

    Think Eli still misses QB Coach, Chris Palmer?

  8. kev86 says: Oct 3, 2013 7:31 PM

    Good story. Big Blue breeds talent. Lombardi, Landry, Parcells, Belichick, etc, etc…

  9. mustbechris says: Oct 3, 2013 9:27 PM

    He’ll be even more surprised when Chip Kelly peaces and goes to USC before the end of the season.

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