The contract is signed, the interviews are over and the pictures have been taken. Now, Chip Kelly has to get to work and item number one on his agenda is putting together a coaching staff.
"For me, (my goal is) to put the best staff possible together with the same vision that I have," Kelly said Thursday. "I believe that the value of that is huge, and we all have to understand what our vision is, and how we want this football team to look, and then coach like that every single day. You have to rely on people that have been there before, and we understand that. Is there one particular person? No, it’s a collaborative group. We’re in the middle of the process of putting that together right now, and what in my opinion, and what has to be my opinion, the best staff that I have to have to be successful."
Both offensive and defensive coordinator positions will take the focus immediately, but there are many spots to be filled. Kelly said that he actually began calling prospective coaches upon his arrival in Philadelphia last night. He’ll also be meeting with and interviewing some of the coaches still under contract with the Eagles.
"There is obviously a lot of protocol that goes on in terms of asking for permission from other organizations for people that are under contract," he said. "We’re right in the middle of that. That’s really been my first order of business since I arrived here."
In fact, there's a report suggesting that Kelly's defensive line coach from Oregon, Jerry Azzinaro, will join the Eagles' staff. Azzinaro, 54, coached the Oregon defensive line for the last three seasons. You can watch him in action here. But while there is a lot to be done in terms of filling the staff, Kelly plans to take much the same approach to hiring his assistant coaches that the Eagles took to finding their head coach.
"My big thing with our staff is the same thing I've taken in recruiting, 'It's not who we don't get, it's who we do get.’ I want to make sure that person's the right fit," he said. "This isn't a race of who do we have to have and I have to make an announcement tomorrow on this. It's making sure that we're right in what we got."
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