The mold of Chip Kelly‘s coaching staff is starting to take shape, giving us an idea of what direction he may be headed into this season. When he was introduced as Eagles coach, he let everyone know he had already stared to conduct his search for the many positions on his staff. After the dust settled over the first few days, out came the news that Pat Shurmur had been hired to serve as Offensive Coordinator on Kelly’s staff. This is a very intriguing hiring because Pat is known as a west coat offense guy, which doesn’t fit the style of play the Eagles will be using this coming season. However, Pat has a tremendous reputation for working with rookie quarterbacks and making them excel in the systems that are in place, which is probably what he will be asked to do in this situation as well.
Pat is a fairly young guy (47), who has been in the National Football League for over 12 years and has enjoyed being associated with seven playoff appearances and a trip to the Super Bowl. Along this stretch he has served many roles along his way, including Quarterbacks coach for the Philadelphia Eagles, Offensive Coordinator for the St.Louis Rams, and most recently, Head Coach for the Cleveland Browns. During his time in these cities he led Donovan McNabb to his best years offensively, Sam Bradford as rookie of the year, and a vast improvement of Brandon Weedon. This seems as no coincidence that the Philadelphia Eagles are a team in desperate need of development at the quarterback position, whether on not Nick Foles stays or they bring in someone else.
On the other hand, Shurmur also has alot of experience in the city and around the league as whole, for which he can serve as a guideline for the Chip Kelly’s tenure. The one thing Kelly explained was that his search would include guys that had NFL experience so they could relate to the things he wasn’t familiar with in the collegiate level. There are going to be many different scenarios where Chip will need to refer to someone who has been there and has experience. I personally think this is a smart and assertive move to bring a guy in who already has familiarity with some of the players, city and organization. It obviously has been a whirlwind of a week od interviews and decisions, in which Chip Kelly has been spun around more times than the Tazmanian Devil. Along those same lines, one thing we all need to remember is the Taz always got things accomplished with speed and finesse, which is what we all look forward to in his tenure as coach of the Eagles!
By: Tony Cutillo ( @TCutillo23 )