Eagles introduce Chip Kelly as head coach

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Eagles introduce Chip Kelly as head coach

Chip Kelly's first press conference as the Eagles' head coach is over. Below are some of the highlights.

Owner Jeffrey Lurie:

"We had an amazing experience interviewing some incredible football minds. ... The whole key was to find the right leader, not to make the fastest decision. As it stands in the NFL anyway, you take two weeks, and some people think that's a long time. That's a very, very short time when you're trying to decide who the leader of your football organization is going to be.

"We really were able to circle back with coach Chip Kelly. We had an outstanding interview with him on Jan. 5 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Scottsdale Arizona. It was just incredibly impressive. ... Everything we had ever heard was just so true. ... It was an outstanding nine hours.

"We were told at the end of the same day. He was either going to come to the Philadelphia Eagles or go back to Oregon. ... We kept in touch, and I've got to give Howie a lot of credit because Howie and Chip have mutual friends, and they kind of alerted us to the fact that this was a great match and Chip was really torn. Things reached a crescendo about 48 hours ago, and we were really committed to seeing whether we could welcome Chip as our new head coach."

Chip Kelly:

On the Eagles and his decision to leave Oregon:

"It's a special situation. In meeting with these three guys (Lurie, Roseman and president Don Smolenski), it was very evident to me, it's an iconic franchise with a passionate, passionate owner and great people in this company, and that's the thing that struck me.

"I probably took a long time with this decision, and probably a lot longer than some other people probably wanted me to take, but I think for me, I've always coached and been involved in this game because of the people.

"I knew what this place was all about, and it's where I wanted to be, but I love my players. We had a great culture at Oregon. Have an unbelievable coaching staff. It was really known versus unknowns. It was just very, very difficult to say good-bye to men that I truly love and respect. The way our players handled it when I talked to them the other day was nothing short of amazing to me. I probably cried more than they did.

"I knew this was the place for me. It was just trying to figure out a way to do it the right way. I wanted to be the first to tell my players. ... I want to tell you how impressed I was with both Howie and Jeffrey that allowed me to do this in a manner where my players were going to find this out from me first-hand, and it wasn't going to be something they saw on a Twitter account or a local TV station. That part is extremely important to me.

"The game of football to me is always about relationships. And the game of football is about people, and you win because you have great people."

On Andy Reid

"One person that I really want to thank in terms of advice in this whole thing is Andy Reid. "The fact that Andy Reid 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 yesterday when I accepted the job, I told him I had really, really, really big shoes to fill, and in typically Andy fashion he said, 'Just be yourself, and you'll be fine.' I just want to publicly thank Andy, because that really right there spoke to me about what this organization is all about.

"I'm excited to be an Eagle and excited to get started, and we're ready to go."

And the decision is final:

"I burned the boat. I'm not going back. I made the jump. I want to be an NFL coach."

On Philadelphia:

"I know about the fan base in Philadelphia, and that excites me."

As a recruiter at the University of New Hampshire, Kelly spent every December, January and May in this area.

"I know that the second most important bowl besides the Super Bowl, which is my goal, is the Wing Bowl."

On adjusting from college to the NFL:

"Football is football, and this is football at its highest level. But it's still a game that's played 11 on 11. It's about putting together a great coaching staff, having a great organization behind you, and having great players."

On the Eagles' QB situation:

"There's perception and there's reality. The perception is we run our quarterback all the time. The reality is that's not the case. One of the best quality in a quarterback is durability, and a lot of that has to do with play-calling.

"Part of what we do offensively has always been understanding what our personnel is, and then how do we maximize that, and what are their best traits? If you're going to ask someone do something that they're not capable of doing, then obviously that's a recipe for disaster.

"Our scheme -- offensive, defensively, special teams-wise -- is always going to be personnel driven. A lot of coaches have great ideas, but we're not playing the game. The players are playing the game, and it's about putting them in situations where they can be successful. Our offense is always going to be tailored to who's playing.

"In terms of Nick, I know him because we played against him. I'm a huge fan of his. He's tough. ... We hit him as many times as we could hit someone and he kept getting up and making plays. He completed a 13-yard pass left-handed against us once and I remember standing on the sideline shaking my head going, 'I don't know what we have to do to stop him.' But he's a competitor, he's accurate, so I'm excited about that. I'm excited for everybody in this program."

On Michael Vick's future with the Eagles:

"I'm going to look at everybody. If you can throw the ball and run, I'll take you out there. We're going to look at everything we can do to put the best product on the field... There's nothing that's on the board right now. There's nothing that's off the board right now."

On control of the organization:

"My role is clearly defining what we want. What is a cornerback? What are we looking for? What's the height, what's the weight, what's the speed, what's the makeup of each individual here? And then in collaboration with everybody. Not one person can do it all.

"I've heard questions about that I want control over this, control over that. That's never been an issue, never is an issue for me. I'm a football coach. I'm not a general manager. I'm not a salary cap guy. I coach football. I need people that can go out there and say, 'Hey, this is what you want.' It's going to be a collaboration. I have no delusions of saying I want all these different titles. I just want to coach football."

On the offense:

"I'm not married to 'we have to do this' on offense ... I'm an equal-opportunity scorer ... I'm not going to take a running quarterback and make him throw and I'm not going to take a passing quarterback and make him run. ... It's not about style, it's about substance.

"It's about putting guys into positions where they can be successful ... We're going to put our guys in the best position to score points.

"People want to paint a brush and label an offense with one word. For us, it's about what tools do we have in our toolbox."

On the defense:

"We're going to be an attacking style defense. It's going to be a group of people that dictates the tempo of the game. What that spacing is, in terms of is it a 4-3 spacing, 3-4 spacing -- it's again looking at our roster and understanding who we'll have the opportunity to bring in here."

On the NCAA's investigation into Oregon's recruiting practices:

"We've fully cooperated with the NCAA and will continue to cooperate with the NCAA. That did not play in any role in my decision."

Eagles-Steelers inactives: Mychal Kendricks active

Eagles-Steelers inactives: Mychal Kendricks active

Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who entered the weekend listed as questionable, is active for the team’s game against the Steelers on Sunday afternoon.

Kendricks suffered a broken nose and a quad contusion in last week’s game against the Bears in Chicago. After missing practice for a couple days, he returned in full on Friday and was expected to be ready to go.

In past years, Kendricks would have likely been listed as probable, but the NFL confusingly did away with its “probable” label on injury reports this season.

As for the players who aren’t playing on Sunday, there aren’t any surprises. Zach Ertz (ribs), Leodis McKelvin (hamstring) and Isaac Seumalo (pec) were all ruled out earlier in the week and are inactive.

Brent Celek will start at tight end for Ertz and Ron Brooks will start at corner for McKelvin. Expect rookie Jalen Mills to be on the field as the outside corner in the nickel package.

Joining them on the list of inactives are WR Bryce Treggs, OL Dillon Gordon, OL Halapoulivaati Vaitai and OL Josh Andrews.

If you’re wondering about Treggs, the receiver the Eagles claimed off waivers from the 49ers and last cuts, it seems like the team isn’t ready to activate him just yet. Here’s what Pederson said on Friday about Treggs and the possibility of activating him:

“Yeah, it’s tough to keep the five receivers up based on what you need, defense, special teams and all that,” Pederson said. “He’s shown flashes of his speed in practice and doing a nice job there. And with him too, much like DGB, it’s how well he can process and how well he knows the system in order for him to, one, be active and, two, get a chance to play.”

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Provorov, Schenn shine in Flyers' last scrimmage before preseason

Provorov, Schenn shine in Flyers' last scrimmage before preseason

VOORHEES, N.J. – Five games.

That’s what the Flyers are facing this coming week, which is why coach Dave Hakstol had his players involved in a full scrimmage Sunday morning at Skate Zone.

“I like it better than practicing,” offered Michael Raffl. “A little more action. A little physical and it gets you in game shape. I enjoyed it.”

The Flyers have two split-squad games on Monday – one in New Jersey against the Devils and other in Brookyln against the Islanders.

The scrimmage was up-tempo. So much so, Raffl and defenseman Will O’Neill were involved in a dangerous collision in the left corner that could have been disastrous with both players getting up slowly, but uninjured, on a puck chase.

“I don’t know, I was coming in hard,” Raffl said. “At first, I thought about playing the body and then I didn’t want to. So I was mixed in-between trying to slow down and there was a lot of contact as I fell into the boards. I felt fine afterwards.”

Raffl hit his neck awkwardly and was lucky to be uninjured. O’Neill took the hit.

“I went into the wall and knew he was coming and tried to be strong on my feet,” said O’Neill, a free agent signed over the summer. “Contact play in a bad area. Tough part of the ice.”

Hakstol held his breath there.

“It could have turned out differently,” he said. “It was kinda awkward play. You’re always happy to see him pop up and come out for another shift right after that.”

Raffl’s gray team won the scrimmage, 2-1, with rookie defenseman Ivan Provorov setting up a play that resulted in Brayden Schenn’s game-winning goal from Wayne Simmonds.

“Good tempo, competitiveness … kind like the first few days where tempo and work levels were good,” Hakstol said of the scrimmage. “It tends to be a little scrambly in those first scrimmages.”

Jordan Weal centered the top line with Schenn on the left. Hakstol has Schenn on the left right now to get him used to playing there again. Once Claude Giroux returns from the World Cup of Hockey, the top line of Schenn-Giroux-Simmonds will be reunited.

“I made the play up there to Simmer and a nice pass by Provy to me and then Simmer back door to Schenn,” Weal said of the game-winning goal. “It felt good ... I’ve played just one game in nine months.

“I’m just trying to get a feel for being on the right side of pucks. It’s not going to come in the first game.”

Weal was impressed with Provorov.

“He’s a really good player,” he said. “You can see it in his skating, his passing. He’s got a lot of confidence. He tore up the WHL and that’s a great league. It’s going to be exciting to see him moving forward.”

Hakstol rated Provorov as “solid and efficient” in the scrimmage.

Loose pucks
Steve Mason worked with Carter Hart in goal … Alex Lyon and Anthony Stolarz worked for the black team. Mason didn’t give up a goal. “We have eight exhibitions on the schedule and I will get into three or four of those,” he said. “By the time those wrap up, I’ll be where I want to be. Right now, I am feeling great which is a good start.” … Hakstol said Mason won’t play on Monday … Rookie forward Travis Konecny sat the scrimmage out (maintenance day). He said he was given a day off, but Konecny was receiving treatment by the medical staff on Saturday. “I see the trainer every day, I’m fine,” he said. Konecny should play in one of the split-squad games on Monday … Greg Carey had the other goal for the gray squad; Nicolas Aube-Kubel had the lone goal for the black squad … The defense rotated for both teams. Provorov was with Philippe Myers much of the game … Jakub Voracek practiced on his own. He won’t see action in the first three games and neither will Shayne Gostisbehere because of the World Cup, Hakstol said ... The scrimmage consisted of  two, 25-minute periods with a running clock. Sounds like the Public League, no?