Former Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid had a hand in helping the franchise land his successor in Chip Kelly.
Reid, the winningest coach in franchise history who was fired after a disappointing 4-12 season, reached out to Kelly, owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman in the club's first coaching search since the end of the 1998 season.
Kelly made it a point to mention Reid during his introductory news conference Thursday.
"One person I want to thank, in terms of advice in this whole thing, is Andy Reid," said Kelly, who decided to leave Oregon after going 46-7 in four seasons. "And the fact that Andy reached out to me and told me about his experience here just told me what this organization is all about. There's not a classier guy. When Andy texted me (Wednesday) when I accepted the job, I told him I had really, really, really big shoes to fill. And in typical Andy fashion he said, 'Just be yourself and you'll be fine.' So I publicly just want to thank Andy, because that really spoke to me about what this organization is all about."
Lurie echoed Kelly's sentiments, saying that Reid still wants the best for the franchise that he guided for 14 seasons.
"We have such a close relationship over the years that the trust is all there," Lurie said. "It's a very special rapport we have with Andy. He reached out to most of the top candidates to tell them what it's like to work with myself, with (general manager) Howie (Roseman), with (president) Don (Smolenski), what the organization is all about, how obsessed with winning and doing it the right way."
Lurie previously had said that potential coaching candidates wanted to speak with Reid to get a feel on how the Eagles' organization operates. The Eagles were known to have interviewed 11 coaching candidates.
"If I'm a head-coaching candidate, the one person I really want to talk to is Andy Reid," Lurie said. "Most of them did their due diligence and reached out to Andy. In that sense, it was an important part of the process that they would reach out to them. I have a close enough relationship with Andy where I can probably eliminate some candidates if Andy felt that they weren't good enough in that sense. That's how close we are. I know what he feels about Chip Kelly and it's outstanding."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.