Reporting Daryl Ruiter
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly feels like he hit the jackpot by hiring former Cleveland Browns coach Pat Shurmur as his offensive coordinator.
When asked during a press conference Monday in Philadelphia about the hiring of Shurmur, Kelly opened his response with a zinger.
“I’ll call all the good plays. He’ll call all the bad,” Kelly joked. “That was first and foremost. The first question was, ‘Will you take credit for all the bad plays’ and he said yes, and he jumped right to the top of the list.”
Some Browns fans might find humor in Kelly’s comment considering the heavy criticism that Shurmur received in Cleveland after going a combined 9-23 in 2 seasons as head coach.
All joking aside, Kelly stressed Monday that hiring assistant coaches with NFL experience was high on his priority list.
Call it a match made in heaven – at least for now – but he and Shurmur hit it off from the moment they met.
“Meeting with Pat, to be honest, it was, ‘Is this too good to be true?,’ Kelley said. “And the longer our meeting went on, it was a two day meeting and when I met with Pat it was, ‘That’s a great point. We agree on that, and how do you feel about this?’
“And when I looked at our assistants after Pat left, and I was like what do you guys think? We were all on the same page.”
Despite averaging over 5 more points per game in 2012 than in Shurmur’s first season, the Browns’ offense still ranked 25th overall in total offense and 24th league-wide in scoring.
Like the Browns, the Eagles are also coming off a dismal season that saw them finish 4-12.
As a result, longtime head coach Andy Reid, who landed in Kansas City, was fired and after nearly 2 weeks, the Eagles were finally able to lure Kelly away from Oregon.
Philadelphia can be a brutal town – especially when it comes to losing but Shurmur struck the right cord with 1 word.
“I was excited that Pat told me the bottom line is I said, ‘Where do you see yourself?’ And he said, ‘I just want to win,’” Kelly said. “And that’s exactly what I want to do and what we want to do. So that put us on the same page. But the fact that he was here for 10 years as a quarterback coach is icing on the cake to me.”
To get a former head coach, who had already worked as an assistant in Philadelphia, was a big layer in that proverbial cake for Kelly.
“He has a great understanding of this building,” Kelly said. “And the reputation he left when he left this building, when I mentioned to people that we were interviewing him, you could see their eyes light up. After spending time with him, I could see why. I think he’s a great addition.”
The first order of business for Kelly and Shurmur – sorting through a precarious quarterback situation.
Michael Vick was kind enough to restructure his contract following a disappointing season and he will now compete with Nick Foles for the starting job this summer.
As a first time NFL head coach, Kelly plans to lean on Shurmur for advice.
“Sometimes it works out to have a guy on staff that’s been a head coach in this league,” Kelly said. “Pat’s office is connected to mine, and I know the door’s usually open because I can walk in and say what did do you in this situation when you were a head coach?
“There are so many bonuses, besides his football knowledge, after meeting him and getting on the board with him is just outstanding, just his personality, his mindset, it was kind of a slam dunk for me after getting a chance to sit down and visit with him.”