Two hours after news broke about Chip Kelly’s departure from Oregon, his predecessor Mike Bellotti gave his thoughts on Kelly’s decision to join the Philadelphia Eagles as their head coach, taking over after former coach Andy Reid was fired on Dec. 31.
Read the transcript here:
“… I think obviously something changed in his thinking and I think there’s buyers remorse, you know the remorse of making the decision. Or you know maybe they upped the ante in terms of power within the program, covering his buyout, whatever the case may be. But certainly, as I said Chip I think sees that as the ultimate challenge, is a place that can test his skills and I think he wants to get to the Super Bowl.”
Question: Can his offense translate to the NFL? The $1 million question of the moment.
“I’m not sure that’s a huge factor. Part of it can, there’s no question, you see elements of it being used all the time. The tempo thing may be an issue. Chip is a smart coach, he is an intelligent guy, he will take the parts of it that will work and he will apply it to the players that he gets. He will put them in a position to be successful. And I’m certain that there are elements that he believes in, there’s elements you will have to check out and figure out both in practice — you have a much more limited roster to work with, so the numbers I think work against you in some ways. But there are elements of his offense that I believe and I think he believes will work and others will have to be tested.”
Question: What do you think Chip Kelly’s most valuable quality is?
“I would say innovation, creativity, the understanding of what he does or what he did with the offense. As I said, when I hired him he was by far the most knowledgeable person that we were able to find across the country in the spread, shotgun, zone read, option offense. A lot of people think you do that to throw the football. You don’t. You do that to run the ball. You create more running space, you run the lanes, you put speed in space and I think at the NFL level, certainly no lack of speed to put in space.”
Question: Mike, where does the Oregon program go from here?
“Well there’s a lot of talk that they will hire from within, I think that they will go on a national search I think because they have to, by state law. And I think Mark Helfrich, from what I understand, is the heir apparent, certainly at this timing, because it’s so near signing day. To go on a long search, to hire from outside is probably not going to be as beneficial. They would probably lose recruits and I’m sure the administration is thinking about ‘how can we keep a good recruiting class or possibly even make it better?’ Certainly Chip’s leaving will not help that but if they hire from within and keep some staff continuity, I think that bodes better for the future.”