Following Oregon's win in the Fiesta Bowl, the Eagles' contingent of Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman and president Don Smolenski met with Chip Kelly in Scottsdale, Az. on January 5 for almost nine hours with "both sides engaging in a wide ranging, enthusiastic discussion of everything from football philosophy to management and organizational values and ideas," according to the team.
The following night, Kelly announced that he wanted to remain at the University of Oregon. How did the Eagles convince Kelly to make the jump from the college ranks to the NFL?
On Tuesday, January 8, the Eagles traveled to Nashville to interview Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, according to Reuben Frank and Geoff Mosher of Comcast SportsNet. Nashville was the site of the annual American Football Coaches Association convention. Apparently, the Eagles received word from a coach close to Chip Kelly that he was not completely committed to returning to the college ranks.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport cited the key figure in the Kelly negotiations was Roseman, who exchanged text messages with Kelly's agent David Dunn to get the ball rolling. Lurie became more involved once the talks became serious.
The conversations between Kelly and the Eagles truly gained steam in the 24-36 hours prior to the Eagles' announcement to the media at 12:28 PM on Wednesday that Kelly would become the 21st head coach in franchise history. During the past few days, the Eagles conducted interviews with other candidates still preparing as if Kelly would ultimately remain at Oregon.
The Eagles met with Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley on Tuesday and multiple reports indicate that Bradley was impressive in the interview and would have been offered the job if Kelly did not accept. The Eagles did not learn of Kelly's answer until 10 AM on Wednesday morning, about two and a half hours prior to the amazing news being made public.
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