QB? Offensive scheme? Chip Kelly still has time

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QB? Offensive scheme? Chip Kelly still has time

MOBILE, Ala. -- Chip Kelly has already met with Mike Vick and already met Nick Foles. Kelly has also hired an offensive coordinator.

If youre thinking that these three events have helped him come closer to an offensive scheme and quarterback to lead it, think again.

Hes nowhere near that stage.

About the only admission Kelly made Monday was that he enjoyed his meetings with Vick and Foles and that the spread offense he ran in college isnt something that cant be modified to produce success at the NFL level.

It was good. First time I had a chance to meet Michael, Kelly said. And he just sat down and I said Tell me about yourself and see where hes coming from, and I really liked my meeting with Mike.

Since arriving in Philadelphia late last Wednesday night, Kelly has sporadically watched tape of Vick, Foles and the rest of the team in between interviewing assistants for openings on his staff.

He hasnt had a free minute to discuss college personnel with general manager Howie Roseman, which means Kelly couldnt tell you the difference between Geno Smith, whos likely to be the top quarterback taken in the draft, and Alex Smith, the 49ers backup quarterback who almost certainly will be moved in the offseason.

The hiring of Shurmur as his offensive coordinator -- which the team still hasnt yet announced, even with Shurmur in attendance at the Senior Bowl -- only made it more difficult for those looking for clues as to the direction Kelly might be headed in at quarterback.

Shurmur has worked with a mobile quarterback like Vick, having been Donovan McNabbs position coach under Andy Reid for seven years in Philadelphia. He has also helped develop conventional drop-back passers that fit West Coast schemes in Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy and Brandon Weeden from his time as St. Louis offensive coordinator and Clevelands head coach.

At first glance, the Kelly-Shurmur tandem seemed like an odd pairing given Kellys pedigree in the spread offense and Shurmurs West Coast roots. But Kelly suggested that two different schools of thought could benefit his offense.

I think, again, people try to paint everybody with one brush, Kelly said. Theyre not all tied to just one scheme. You need to have people that have some versatility because your starting quarterback may be able to run your scheme and your backup quarterback may not.

You dont just throw your hands up in the first quarter when hes out and say, Were in trouble now. Youve got to be able to adapt. Thats what I think the fun part of coaching is, being able to identify what your personnel can do and play to their strengths.

Kelly said his spread offense at New Hampshire and Oregon borrowed and incorporated concepts from the West Coast offense in the same way that most coaches take and share philosophies that are trendy at the time.

He dismissed the idea that the pistol formation used so effectively this postseason by the 49ers, who will play in the Super Bowl, is a copycat of the strategy he used at Oregon.

Somebody ran those plays somewhere else first.

Like I said before, if you werent in the room with Amos Alonzo Stagg and Knute Rockne, then you stole it from somebody, he said. We didnt invent this. They were running the no-huddle along time ago. The Buffalo Bills ran this offense a long time ago. Sam Wyche did it with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Its just trying to figure out what your team does well and that was a strength of us at Oregon. Is it going to be a strength of ours at Philadelphia? I dont know our personnel well enough to say that. But we dont play until September, so Im hoping between now and September that Ive got enough prep time to figure that out.

Kelly admitted that he needs to take a long hard look at quarterbacks in this years draft for no other reason that the games most important position should always be closely monitored, not necessarily because his current roster lacks the personnel he requires for his offensive system.

Its a unique position, he said. They dont have that in any other sport, someone that has the ball in their hand on every single play. So I think youve got to spend a lot of time on it. You do have to really look at that position long and hard, and I think sometimes guys get overlooked.

Russell Wilson went in the third round. Tom Brady went in the sixth round. The problem I think people have is when they try to find the next one. Thats where youve got to catch yourself. Youve got to have a standard of what youre looking for and see if people match up to that.

E-mail Geoff Mosher at gmosher@comcastsportsnet.com.

CSN, TCN to air 25 of Union's 34 games in 2017

CSN, TCN to air 25 of Union's 34 games in 2017

Twenty-five of the Union’s 34 games in 2017 will be featured on CSN and TCN, as Jim Curtin’s club vies for a second straight playoff berth.

Twenty matches will air on TCN, while five can be seen on CSN. The nine others will be appear across 6ABC, ESPN and FOX Sports 1.

The Union’s season opener on March 5 at the Vancouver Whitecaps will broadcast on TCN and the team’s home opener on March 11 against Toronto FC will air on CSN. The next three games — March 18 at Orlando City SC, April 1 at D.C. United and April 8 vs. the Portland Timbers — will be shown on TCN.

The Union are coming off an 11-14-9 season and their second-ever trip to the MLS playoffs in which they suffered a first-round exit to Toronto FC.

For the Union’s full 2017 schedule, click here.

Best of NHL: Toews nets hat trick in Blackhawks' win over Wild

Best of NHL: Toews nets hat trick in Blackhawks' win over Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Jonathan Toews had three goals and two assists and the Chicago Blackhawks beat rival Minnesota 5-3 on Tuesday night for their second win over the Western Conference-leading Wild in less than two weeks.

Toews notched his fourth career hat trick on an empty-netter with 1:02 left to stave off a spirited rally by the Wild, who began a franchise-record eight-game homestand on Feb. 8 with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Blackhawks. Toews had a goal and two assists in that one and has 37 points in 35 career games against Minnesota.

Chicago's captain has been chewing up almost everyone else, too, with 20 points in his last 12 games. Toews' wing men Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik had the other goals, giving the Blackhawks 34 goals in their last eight games. Their first line totaled nine points.

Mikael Granlund's second power-play goal for the Wild brought them within 4-3, before Ryan Suter hit the crossbar with a shot that nearly tied it (see full recap).

Islanders open 9-game road trip with win
DETROIT -- Calvin de Haan was credited with a go-ahead goal that caromed off an opponent late in the second period and the New York Islanders went on to beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 Tuesday night.

De Haan's shot from above the left circle was stopped by Petr Mrazek, but the rebound went off Detroit defenseman Xavier Ouellet and the back of the goaltender's left leg and into the net. John Tavares scored early in the third period to give the Islanders a two-goal lead and they coasted to the victory.

Josh Bailey had a goal and an assist, and Thomas Greiss stopped 26 shots for New York.

Henrik Zetterberg scored for Detroit and Mrazek finished with 19 saves.

The Islanders, in contention for a wild-card spot, began a stretch of nine straight road games by winning for the third time in four games and improved to 8-13-4 away from home (see full recap).

Crosby, Penguins take care of Hurricanes
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Sidney Crosby scored the go-ahead goal on a deflection in the second period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Evgeni Malkin and Scott Wilson also scored to help the reigning Stanley Cup champions bounce back from their only loss since the All-Star break. Pittsburgh moved three points behind East-leading Washington and is 7-1-3 since the break.

Jeff Skinner scored for the last-place Hurricanes, who have their second five-game losing streak in the past five weeks. They have been outscored 19-4 during the current slide.

Matt Murray made 29 saves for the Penguins while Cam Ward stopped 19 shots for Carolina (see full recap).