Kelly's Eagles staff short on NFL experience

Kelly's Eagles staff short on NFL experience
February 8, 2013, 4:30 pm
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Chip Kelly’s coaching staff has: 10 coaches who’ve never coached in the NFL, 15 who’ve never played in the NFL, six with ties to the University of Oregon, three with ties to Boston College, two Andy Reid holdovers, two coordinators from the Browns and something called a sports science coordinator -- who recently served as strength coordinator for Navy Special Warfare.
 
Three weeks after he was named head coach of the Eagles and 2½ weeks after the names of his assistants first began leaking out of the NovaCare Complex, Kelly’s 2013 coaching staff is complete.
 
It’s a curious mixture of veteran college coaches, entry-level guys primarily from Kelly’s last Oregon staff, guys with New England ties and a handful of NFL veterans.
 
The Eagles finally officially announced Kelly’s staff on Friday afternoon, and the entire group will be at the NovaCare Complex Monday to meet the media.
 
Other than the strength and conditioning staff, only two of the names are coaches that CSNPhilly.com hadn’t already confirmed on Kelly’s staff – Erik Chinander, who was a graduate assistant at Oregon and will serve as assistant defensive line coach under Jerry Azzinaro, and Justin Peelle, a long-time NFL tight end who will be assistant tight ends coach under position coach Ted Williams.
 
Also interesting to note that Azzinaro will hold the title of assistant head coach. He spent 2009 through 2012 as defensive line coach under Kelly at Oregon and like Kelly has coached at New Hampshire, although they were there a year apart.
 
The most interesting twist on Kelly’s staff is the addition of something called a sports science coordinator. Shaun Huls’ credentials are fascinasting. According to a bio provided by the Eagles, he was a champion weight lifter, Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitor and recently served as strength and conditioning coach and combatives coordinator for Navy Special Warfare.

Will that help beat the Cowboys? Who knows, but it sounds interesting.
 
Other than Azzinaro and Chinander, Peelle, Greg Austin, Matthew Harper and Todd Lyght all have ties to Oregon. Peelle played there from 1998-01 – before Kelly arrived  – Austin was an offensive graduate assistant in 2011 and 2012, Harper spent the last four years in Eugene as an intern and graduate assistant, and Lyght spent the last two years as a defensive intern under Kelly.
 
Kelly’s three coordinators all have NFL coaching experience – offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur was on Reid’s staff here from 1999 through 2008 before stints with the Rams and then as head coach of the Browns the last two years; defensive coordinator Billy Davis has spent the last 21 years with the Steelers, Panthers, Browns, Packers, Falcons, Giants, 49ers, Cards and Browns; and special teams coach Dave Fipp has six years of NFL experience, most recently the last two years with the Dolphins.
 
But of the 18 other coaches, only five have coached in the NFL, including only three of the newcomers – and those three -- wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell, quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor and defensive backs coach John Lovett -- have only a combined 14 years on NFL coaching staffs. 

Bicknell coached offensive line and and tight ends with the Chiefs from 2007 through 2009 and tight ends and receivers with the Bills the last three years; Lazor – most recently with Virginia – spent 2003 as a quality control coach with the Falcons and 2004 through 2007 as an offensive assistant with the Redskins; and Lovett spent a year 29 years ago as Jets' quality control coach on defensive.

In addition, Duce Staley and Ted Williams both have NFL coaching experience right here in Philly on Reid's staff, and both remain on the Eagles’ staff, with Staley replacing Williams as running backs coach and Williams returning to tight ends after coaching backs for 14 years.
 
Williams has already coached with the Eagles longer than anybody in the franchise’s 80-year history and this fall will begin his 19th year on the coaching staff. He was part of Ray Rhodes’ original staff in 1995 and coached tight ends in 1995 and 1996 before moving to running backs in 1997.
 
Reid kept Williams when he replaced Rhodes in 1999, and now Kelly is also keeping Williams, who is unique in that he never played a down of football at any level in his life.
 
Staley, the fourth-leading running back in Eagles history, spent 2011 and 2012 on Reid’s staff after working as a sports-talk radio host after his career ended.
 
Staley is also one of only two coaches on Kelly’s staff with a Super Bowl ring. Staley won one in 2005, when the Steelers beat the Seahawks 21-10 in Detroit. The other is Lyght, a first-team all-pro cornerback on the 1999 Rams, who beat the Titans 23-16 in Super Bowl XXXIV in Atlanta.
 
The only members of Kelly’s staff with NFL playing experience are Peelle, who spent 2002 through 2011 as a tight end with the Chargers, Dolphins, Falcons and 49ers; Staley, who played for the Eagles from 1997 through 2003 and the Steelers through 2006; and Lyght, who had 37 interceptions in a 12-year Pro Bowl career with the Rams (10 years) and Lions (two years).

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