Tony Dungy on hiring of Chip Kelly: 'It's a great move'

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Tony Dungy on hiring of Chip Kelly: 'It's a great move'

Chip Kelly's hiring as the Eagles' head coach has raised a few key questions:

Which quarterback will fit Kelly's system? What's his biggest challenge in jumping to the NFL? What will the Eagles' defense look like?

NBC Sports analyst and former NFL head coach Tony Dungy joined John Boruk on SportsNite Wednesday to discuss those topics.

Your son Eric played this past year -- he's a sophomore wide receiver at Oregon -- so you have a little bit of insight on what Chip Kelly does in that offense and his coaching style.

My son has actually been there three years and is a redshirt sophomore, and Ive known Coach Kelly since then, and I tell you, Philadelphia is getting a tremendous coach. In watching him practice and seeing what they do in the spring and training camp when I was there, they practice a lot like a NFL team.

I dont think the adjustment is going to be too big and, I dont know this for a fact because I havent talked to Coach Kelly in about two weeks, but I have to think, in watching Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson do what they have done in the playoffs has led him to know that there is parts of what I do that can work and we can put pressure on people with a mobile quarterback and do some things.

I think hes going to have fun there, but hell do what his personnel dictates. Thats the one thing I really enjoyed watching them over three years. He had three different quarterbacks -- Jeremiah Masoli and then went to Derron Thomas and then to Marcus Mariota this year -- and they did a little bit of different things with each one, but they played to their strengths and won a lot of games. So again, I would have to be very excited if I were a Philadelphia fan.

Which quarterback would fit Chip Kellys system (Michael Vick or Nick Foles)?

Well, I think thats going to be a money driven decision and well see what happens. I do know Coach Kelly really liked Nick Foles. I watched Nick play against Oregon twice and have two outstanding games and throw the ball all around and make plays and I know Coach Kelly likes playmakers, so itll be interesting to see. I think Michael could flourish in that offense, for sure. Its just that probably will come down to money.

But the one thing I can tell you about Coach Kelly, he will adjust to his personnel. Hell use guys in the way they can be used best. I know DeAnthony Thomas was a highly recruited kid to go to USC and play corner because people didnt think he was big enough to play on offense and certainly not big enough to play running back, and Chip told him, You come here and Ill find a way to use you and make you a dynamic player, and thats what happened. They used him in the slot. They used him in some different ways running the ball and got the ball to him and hes a great player. So I think thats really coachs strength is getting the most out of his personnel.

What is Chip Kellys biggest challenge in his jump to the NFL?

The biggest challenge for anybody coming in is just getting people to believe and there is going to be some skepticism from his players and from everybody at first. Is this really going to work? Is this guy a pro coach? But Ill tell you what, hell do well once they get to know him and once they just see his demeanor and what he thinks about football. Hes going to impress them and once he gets everyone to believe, theyre going to be effective.

Do you feel as if a guy in Chip Kelly -- he brings an innovative mind that maybe other teams and other coaches around the league will catch on to and will follow once he gets here?

Well, he thinks outside of the box, and hes not afraid to be a risk taker and be a little different from the crowd. I know this was Philadelphias first choice. I happened to talk to both Chip and Jeffrey Lurie way back when this thing first started. I have a little bit of self-interest -- I was trying to talk like a dad and talk Coach Kelly into staying, but also talk from the perspective of being a former NFL coach and the things the Philly organization could give Coach and what its like coaching in the NFL and that type of thing.

I think he was intrigued by that and he wants to step up to the challenge, and I think hes going to do it. Again, the big thing I saw in three years was utilizing personnel, and the National Championship game was my sons first year, and Auburn had 10 guys drafted off that team -- that was Cam Newton, Nick Fairley and that group -- and Oregon played them right down to the last play, lost on a field goal on the last play of the game, and the only guy they had drafted that year was Casey Matthews, who went to Philadelphia. But that was, I think really spoke to what Coach Kelly can do -- take guys that might not be prototypical players, but use them in a way they can perform and produce.

What do you see in terms of the Eagles' defense with Chip Kelly as the head coach?

Well, I think, No. 1, the reason why they hired Chip Kelly was not to fix the defense. Hell get that done and hell get a competent person in there to run that side of the ball. But I know they hired him to be explosive and to move the ball and score points and I think that is his philosophy: Hey, were gonna put pressure on people to keep up with us scoring' and I think Philadelphia will do that. I think youll see some really good offense, and the one thing hes not going to micromanage the defense. Hes going to set a tone for the whole team, and the way theyre going to play and the attention to detail and the focus and the attitude and theyll play good defense.

I think its a great move and theres no doubt in my mind Coach Kelly is going to be a special coach in the NFL.

Flyers answer Ron Hextall's plea with comeback OT win over Islanders

Flyers answer Ron Hextall's plea with comeback OT win over Islanders

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK — Shayne Gostisbehere’s fist pump was so vicious and mighty, the celebration was probably felt back in Philadelphia.

This was an exultation the entire Flyers felt, too.

When it started to look like the bye week wasn’t the break they needed, the Flyers reached down deep and got one Sunday night at the Barclays Center in the form of a 3-2 overtime victory over the Islanders (see Instant Replay).

“It allows you to take a breath,” head coach Dave Hakstol said. “That’s one thing for sure.”

A sigh of relief for a team beaten and bruised — losers of three straight by a combined score of 15-4, not to mention 3-9-3 in its past 15 games. The Flyers had lost the day prior on home ice to the Devils, 4-1, with a performance not exactly inspiring confidence following five days off.

On Sunday, they trailed 2-0 in the second period.

“We've got to get better at dealing with adversity when something goes wrong,” general manager Ron Hextall said bluntly before the game. “We need to get back on the horse and get back going. Big deal, a team scored a goal. We need to react better to it.”

Finally, the Flyers reacted the way their GM had been hoping.

They flipped the deficit into a victory when Gostisbehere skated behind the net and put the puck on Claude Giroux’s stick for the game-winner with 1:40 left in the extra session. Gostisbehere whipped his arm through the air and embraced Giroux, along with Jakub Voracek, who started the play by stripping Islanders captain John Tavares.

“On a lot of different levels, it’s an important win,” Hakstol said. “It’s huge. And more importantly for us, a great effort. Thought we deserved the two points. Sometimes maybe that’s what it takes to get over the hump — a tremendous effort for 60-plus minutes. I thought we got that out of everyone tonight.”

For Giroux, it was his first goal since Dec. 21.

For Steve Mason, his first win since Dec. 21.

And for the Flyers, their first road victory since Dec. 14, as they went 0-6-3 in the previous nine games away from home.

Yeah, “it was needed,” as Wayne Simmonds said of the win.

“We’ve been fighting it lately and I thought that was a good game from start to finish,” he said. “I thought everyone played well. I think we made bounces go our way tonight instead of hoping and waiting.”

Simmonds scored what might have been the biggest goal of the game. The Flyers, down 1-0 in the second period, came up empty for 33 seconds of a 5-on-3 power play and the proceeding 5-on-4 advantage. The Islanders then padded the lead to 2-0 moments later, putting the Flyers’ backs against the wall.

But Simmonds kept his team from uncoiling with a goal at 14:10 of the period, giving the Flyers life at second intermission. If not for that score, who knows how the Flyers come out in the third period, trailing by multiple goals yet again.

"I think we were plying well,” Giroux said. “We had a lot of chances and [the puck] wasn't going in. Everybody on the bench was frustrated. When Wayne got that first goal, I think [there was] a little relief on the bench. I haven't seen a team celebrate so much just for a first goal. It was kind of a relief and we had a little boost out of that.”

Ivan Provorov scored the equalizer 1:47 into the final period when he maintained possession from the blue line to the circle, adeptly skating around two Islanders to put the puck on net. Provorov’s pass to Travis Konecny hit off the skate of New York’s Adam Pelech and into the net.

“I came off the bench and I saw [Brayden Schenn] was going into the zone, so I took a few hard strides, got the puck from him and I saw it was kind of an odd-man situation,” Provorov said. “I held on to the puck a little bit, saw T.K. going backdoor, passed it there and it went off their D skate.”

Just as important as the timely goals was the Flyers’ discipline. Against the Devils, the Flyers compiled 19 penalty minutes, forcing them on seven penalty kills. This time, the Flyers sharpened up, not allowing the Islanders a power play until midway through the third period. In total, they had just four penalty minutes and killed off both power plays faced.

That gave them a chance.

“We just kept saying it the whole time, ‘Keep going, keep going, guys,’” Simmonds said. “We just need one [goal] and from one comes two, and Mase held the fort.”

Mason made 17 of his 36 saves in the third period and overtime combined.

Now, the Flyers at least go into another important back-to-back — starting Wednesday at the Rangers before welcoming the Maple Leafs Thursday — with some confidence instead of a lost weekend.

“I thought the focus was purely on going out and playing well,” Hakstol said. “And you know, that’s harder to do than you might know — when you start to feel some of the pressure without a win in a little bit. I really liked that side of it. Even in that situation, all the guys played well. Hopefully that puts our entire team in the right direction.’’

Best of NHL: Crosby scores league-leading 28th goal in win vs. Bruins

Best of NHL: Crosby scores league-leading 28th goal in win vs. Bruins

PITTSBURGH -- Conor Sheary scored two goals, Sidney Crosby added his league-leading 28th and the Pittsburgh Penguins won their fourth straight game, 5-1 over the Boston Bruins 5-1 on Sunday.

Pittsburgh led 2-1 through two periods before breaking out in the third with three goals in a span of 2 minutes, 57 seconds.

Sheary scored his 17th and has nine goals in nine games. Bryan Rust added his 12th and Patric Hornqvist his 11th for the Penguins, who won a season-high seventh straight at home. Pittsburgh the NHL's best home team, is 13-0-1 in its last 14 home games.

Evgeni Malkin had two assists for a season-best seven-game point streak. Crosby added two assists for a three-point game. Matt Murray made 44 saves to win his fourth straight game.

David Krejci scored his 11th for the Bruins, who have lost four straight and five of their last six (see full recap).

Rangers shut out Red Wings in 1-0 OT win
DETROIT -- J.T. Miller scored at 1:56 of overtime to lift the New York Rangers to a 1-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.

Henrik Lundqvist made 21 saves for his second shutout of the season and 61st of his career. The Rangers managed only 19 shots in a game that featured few memorable chances by either team.

The winner came when Mats Zuccarello and Miller swooped in alone on Detroit goalie Jared Coreau. Zuccarello made a simple pass to Miller, who lifted the puck over Coreau for his 16th goal of the season.

Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall played for the first time since Jan. 4, returning from a lower-body injury. The Red Wings put forward Drew Miller on waivers (see full recap).

Atikinson lifts Jackets over Senators in wild OT win
OTTAWA, Ontario -- Cam Atkinson's second goal of the game at 1:09 of overtime lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets a 7-6 win over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night.

Atkinson had a breakaway after a shot by Senators captain Erik Karlsson missed the Columbus net and went around the boards out to Atkinson, who was at center-ice.

The Blue Jackets trailed 5-3 after two periods before Lukas Sedlak and Matt Calvert scored 31 seconds apart to tie it less than 2 1/2 minutes into the third. Atklnson then gave Columbus a 6-5 lead with 9:10 remaining, before Kyle Turries tied it for Ottawa on the power play less than 2 minutes later.

Nick Foligno, Scott Harrington and Zach Werenski also scored for the Blue Jackets, and Joonas Korpisalo finished with 28 saves.

Zach Smith and Mike Hoffman each had two goals and Mark Stone also scored for the Senators. Mike Condon had 22 saves (see full recap).