Chip Kelly's first season with the Philadelphia Eagles was a smashing success, a result that seemed to surprise even him. Speaking with the press on Monday, Kelly admitted that he wasn't sure how things would work out in his first year. From ESPN:
"I wasn't confident," Kelly said Monday. "I had a system and a plan that we were going to go in, but I didn't know what the outcome was going to be until it was all finished. But I think we played sound fundamental football, and I think that's what we preach on a daily basis to our players. I think it's still a game of 11-on-11, and I think a lot of things we do schematically match up 11-on-11 and it's a fundamental game and I think that's what our coaches teach."
The comments aren't too dissimilar to what he said when first hired by the Eagles last January. Kelly expressed his desire to find the right personnel, but wasn't predicting instant success. From ESPN:
"It's a really exciting time for me. It was a difficult decision. There's not many opportunities to coach in the National Football League, and every one of them is special," Kelly said. "But this is an iconic franchise with an outstanding owner. I knew what this place was all about, and this is where I wanted to be.
"It was just a matter of figuring out how to do it the right way."
"I'm going to look at everyone, and look at everything we can do to put the best product on the field," Kelly said. "There's nobody ruled in and there's nobody ruled out at this point in time."
Kelly oversaw a quick turnaround in Philadelphia, leading the Eagles from 4-12 to 10-6 and the NFC East title. His offense lived up to the hype, ranking fourth in points scored and second in total yards. LeSean McCoy won the rushing title and Nick Foles was a revelation, tossing 27 touchdowns to just two interceptions.
Kelly's quick success has led to other teams courting college coaches this year, though not all of them responded. The Houston Texans were the first to find a new coach, hiring Bill O'Brien away from Penn State. Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin, Stanford's David Shaw and Baylor's Art Briles have all gotten interest from the NFL as well. They turned down interview offers this year, but look for teams to start calling them again in 2015, particularly if Kelly's second year goes as well as his first one.