As we have all heard by now, Chip Kelly has accepted a job to coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. Let me start by saying that I am not irritated in Kelly leaving for the NFL, just in how he has gone about it. I have the unique perspective of being a die hard Duck’s fan and Eagles fan. You may think that I should be happier than most Duck fans at his job choice, but it’s quite the opposite.
First — instead of being happy for the Eagles, I am very irritated with them. After searching the entire country, interviewing multiple qualified coaches, they honestly flubbed everything up so much that they had to go back to Kelly and offer him everything he wanted? If Kelly had left after the first interview, I would be happy for my NFL team, but now they just snatched away the King from our chess set at the worst possible time.
Second — as I mentioned before, the timing couldn’t be worse! With national signing day less than three weeks away, we now have no stability to offer potential recruits, or to solidify the current verbal commitments. Ohio State offered scholarships to 3 of Oregon’s current commits today; two of them to the twin brothers from San Diego who already said they might open up their recruiting if Kelly leaves. Need I mention we only have 13 recruits and cannot afford to lose a single one?
Third — Kelly has been known to be a man of his word. If he declined the job at Philadelphia and told Oregon and all of us fans he was staying, no matter what the Eagles threw at him, he should have stayed true to his word. Nobody likes to be jerked around, least of all fans. I must also mention that if Oregon is hit with sanctions from the NCAA, it will feel like the second coming of Pete Carroll to Oregon fans, no matter what the reason for Kelly’s departure.
Let me finish by saying I have all the confidence in Mark Helfrich or whoever assumes the job at Oregon. I am just very worried about our current recruiting class and the consequences that these changes will have. So, as an Oregon and Philadelphia fan, I am hurt by Kelly’s perceived lack of honesty, and very mad at my Eagles for throwing such a wrench in the plans of our team. Oregon will continue to “Win The Day” without Kelly, and Philadelphia will most definitely be a better team with him as the head coach. Unfortunately there will be a grey cloud over both Kelly and the Eagles for me personally for a few years.