In the end, Chip Kelly chose the NFL, giving the Eagles their guy.
Philadelphia hired Kelly on Wednesday, just 10 days after he said he was going to stay at Oregon. The 49-year-old Kelly, known as an offensive innovator, becomes the 21st coach in team history and replaces Andy Reid, who was fired on Dec. 31 after a 4-12 season.
He’ll be introduced at a news conference at 10:30 a.m. (PST) today at the Eagles’ practice facility.
Kelly, who had a 46-7 record in four seasons at Oregon, interviewed with the Eagles, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills in a two-day span after leading the Ducks to a victory over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 3.
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Kelly ended a whirlwind day by boarding a plane in Eugene, Ore., headed for Philadelphia just past noon (PST). When he arrived at Philadelphia International Airport, he quickly saw a glimpse of what this team means to the city. Not only were general Howie Roseman and president Don Smolenski waiting for him on the runway — they arrived with a police escort — there were fans, decked out in green, on hand, as well.
“Chip Kelly will be an outstanding head coach for the Eagles,” owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement. “He has a brilliant football mind. He motivates his team with his actions as well as his words. He will be a great leader for us and will bring a fresh energetic approach to our team.”
CARDINALS INTERVIEW SEAHAWKS’ BEVELL
The Arizona Cardinals, one of two NFL teams still looking for a head coach, have interviewed Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and plan to talk to Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
Bevell, 43, was the fifth known candidate to interview for the job vacated when the team fired Ken Whisenhunt the day after the season ended.
It wasn’t known when Arians would be interviewed, but that news, first reported by NFL.com and confirmed by The Associated Press, indicates Arizona’s search will go on a few more days, at least.
Bevell grew up and played high school football in the Phoenix area.
BEARS HIRE COACH, COORDINATORS
The Chicago Bears hired Montreal Alouettes coach Marc Trestman to replace the fired Lovie Smith and gave him two basic tasks — fix the offense and lead the team to the playoffs on a consistent basis.
It’s the first NFL head coaching job for Trestman, a longtime assistant in the league who spent the past five seasons coaching the CFL’s Alouettes and led them to two Grey Cup titles.
Trestman was an offensive coordinator with Cleveland, San Francisco, Arizona and Oakland.
Trestman wasted little time assembling his staff, bringing in two coordinators.
Chicago hired New Orleans Saints line coach Aaron Kromer as its line coach and offensive coordinator and Dallas’ Joe DeCamillis as its assistant head coach and special teams coordinator. The Bears announced the moves hours after Trestman was hired.
SEATTLE COORDINATORS ARE MEN IN DEMAND
Bevell and Gus Bradley are wanted men.
Bradley, Seattle’s defensive coordinator, after a second interview with the Eagles on Tuesday, was to meet Wednesday with the Jacksonville Jaguars, ESPN.com reported.
The Jaguars also were expected to meet with Seattle offensive coordinator Bevell, who had a second interview with Chicago on Tuesday, the report said.
Andy Reid is putting the final touches on his first coaching staff in Kansas City, hiring former Jaguars offensive line coach Andy Heck to fulfill the same duty with the Chiefs. Reid also announced Kevin O’Dea will be an assistant special teams coach. Heck played 12 seasons in the NFL for Washington, Chicago and Seattle. … New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning will return to the Pro Bowl. He will replace Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers — who dropped out because of knee and ankle injuries — on the NFC roster.