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Questions To Greet The Kelly Era

Posted Jan 17, 2013

Chip Kelly is in the house, ready to knuckle down and get to work after he works the building, meets his fellow Eagles and then performs his press obligations. After that? Questions need to be answered ...

Understand at least this much about Chip Kelly: He is here to work, to win and to make this a championship culture. He wasted no time on Thursday moving into his office at the NovaCare Complex and getting down to business.

As reality settles in for all of us, so does the framework of the situation. The Eagles have a bunch of areas in which they need to improve and they have a lot of change coming in the Chip Kelly Era.

So let's get to the questions, some of which, of course, are not going to be answered for many moons down the line ...

What Kind Of Offense Will The Eagles Run?

It's a huge question after seeing how Kelly's Oregon teams revolutionized the college game with the read-option offense, the spread formation, and speed on top of speed. What Kelly did in his four years as the head coach at Oregon wasn't a fad. What he did was change the way offense is played and the tempo at which it is played. That's why so many coaches sought Kelly out for advice and for pointers on his system.

Now, of course, the question is how Kelly's system translates to the NFL and to the personnel the Eagles have. He has said many times that X's and O's can be tweaked based on the players you have to work with, and certainly Kelly has a lot of talent here on offense.

Who Plays Quarterback?

I'm certain that Kelly isn't going to provide a definitive answer here for a long time. There are some options to consider. Nick Foles has a lot of tools, but not necessarily the skill set to run the exact system that Kelly used at Oregon. Would Kelly modify the scheme to play to Foles' strengths?

Michael Vick is a more mobile option, but he also has a huge contract question, a history with injuries and a two-year run of turnovers to consider. Is what Kelly ran at Oregon more suited to Vick's skill set? Maybe. He has fleet feet and is certainly a running option.

Then again, Kelly could decide that he wants a more suitable fit and go the college draft route or look to acquire a veteran NFL player.

Do The Eagles Stay 4-3 Or Go 3-4 On Defense?

It's a given that the Eagles are going to address the defense heavily in the months to come. This defense was not physical enough, didn't have enough pressure and had far too few takeaways in 2012. It may take more than one offseason to turn the defense all the way around.

Adding to the process is the scheme. Do the Eagles stay in the 4-3 alignment or do they move to a 3-4? And if they move to a 3-4, how many pieces of the current roster are suitable to play in that front?

Kelly hasn't yet named his defensive coordinator. It's one of his most important decisions to make.

How Did The Eagles And Kelly Come Together?

This is a story that Jeffrey Lurie and Kelly will tell today, and it should be extremely interesting. Kelly and the Eagles met for 9 hours on January 5 and there was a murmur that maybe something could get done between the two parties at that time. Then the hopes seemed to flicker away as the reports circulated that Kelly was going to stay at Oregon.

Now, shockingly, he's the 21st head coach in Eagles history. What happened?

I've read all the reports and all of the "here's-it-happened" rhetoric, but until Lurie and Kelly explain it, the reports are all just guesswork. I want to hear what went down and how Kelly and the Eagles made it happen.

What Is The Power Structure In Football Operations?

Who has the final day during draft weekend? Who has the ultimate power in player personnel and football decisions? What is the working relationship between Kelly, general manager Howie Roseman and Lurie and Roseman's personnel department?

There have been a lot of changes in personnel in the last year and there could be more coming with Kelly's arrival. Again, this is something that will be discussed today, part of a must-see (right here on PhiladelphiaEagles.com) day of coverage.

Who Will Make Up Kelly's Coaching Staff?

Expect Kelly to bring aboard a staff of extremely talented coaches who understand how to do it his way. There may be a mix of college coaches and some with NFL experience. As we learn every day in this league, a head coach is only as good as the men around him.

Kelly is a high-energy, up-tempo coach, so it's fair to think that he is going to bring in like-minded coaches around him. The idea is to create a winning culture here once again. It's been too long since the Eagles were at the top of the heap in the NFC.

What About Kelly So Interested The Eagles?

Clearly, Kelly's success at Oregon went far and above wins and losses. He is a master strategist and his big-picture vision obviously made sense to Lurie and the Eagles. Beyond his offensive mind, what other ideas does Kelly have about the game and the way he approaches it to "win every day?"

There isn't a more fascinating new coach in the NFL. There is an aura of mystery around Kelly as he is introduced to Philadelphia today. An aura of mystery and awe and, once that fades, the very real questions of how he is going to lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl.

The Eagles fell head over heels for Kelly and they got their man. From this point forward, all of these questions and more are going to be answered as the Eagles aim toward the bright, new future. 

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