PHILADELPHIA – For a guy with no previous NFL experience, Chip Kelly sure seems to have history with a lot of folks around the league.
Last week, Kelly faced New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin, who offered Kelly a job back in 2006. This week, Kelly is preparing to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who offered him their head coaching job in 2012.
“I didn’t want to leave the staff at Oregon at that time,” Kelly said Wednesday. “They met me while I was on the road, recruiting. I was impressed with the three Glazer brothers and I was impressed with (GM) Mark Dominik. My decision was to stay at Oregon and not to go anywhere in the NFL.”
It was a decision with ramifications all over the country. Kelly stayed at Oregon, went 12-1 and, but for a 17-14 loss to Stanford, might have played in a second national championship game during Kelly’s tenure.
“I don’t look at decisions as difficult,” Kelly said. “You get all the information necessary and you make the decision and move forward. We had an outstanding year, staying at Oregon.”
The Buccaneers hired Greg Schiano away from Rutgers. The Bucs went 7-9 last year and are 0-4 this year under Schiano. It remains to be seen how the team will recover from its messy divorce with quarterback Josh Freeman, who was released last week.
And of course the Eagles hired Kelly in January. A year later, and with the NCAA investigating Oregon’s program, Kelly decided it was time to jump to the NFL.
Next week, Kelly faces the Dallas Cowboys, whose new defensive coordinator is Monte Kiffin. Kelly’s Oregon teams averaged 50 points per game in three meetings with USC while Kiffin was there as defensive coordinator.
A few other highlights from Kelly’s morning press availability:
Kelly said the Buccaneers defense has improved from last year. “The personnel was upgraded,” Kelly said. “But I thought they were a good defense last year. … Gerald McCoy may be the best 3 technique player in the league. He’s explosive, dynamic, he can run.”
Kelly reacted to wide receiver DeSean Jackson’s boast that cornerback Darrelle Revis “can’t run with me.” “That’s not exactly what he said,” Kelly said. “He said a bunch of things. Sometimes it’s good if you put the rest of it out there, because he said it was a great matchup. He’s got all the respect in the world for him. And the question is if he thinks he’s faster than him. We’re not having a track meet on Sunday.”
Kelly said quarterback Michael Vick would continue to practice as much as his sore hamstring allows him and that no decision was yet made on Vick’s availability for Sunday. Safety Patrick Chung (shoulder) was on the practice field Wednesday.