When the Philadelphia Eagles’ record was 3-5, there might’ve been a shred of doubt Chip Kelly would go crawling back to college for the right offer. Now that the Birds are 8-5 and making a strong push for the playoffs, Chip’s retreat just doesn’t seem possible.
Apparently, that won’t stop the University of Texas from inquiring. According to a report by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen (from CBSSports.com via NJ.com), Kelly is “prominent” on the school’s coaching wish list. Here are the details.
"League sources say Chip Kelly is prominent on the new list of new Longhorns AD Steve Patterson, who's heard that Kelly misses some aspects of the college football game," Mortensen said. "If Kelly is interested, an NCAA expert believes that the 18-month show cause for sanctions at Oregon was more like a slap on the wrist and was not a major hurdle."
Kelly wouldn't comment on Mortensen report, but a team spokesman told Mort that Kelly "laughed it off" when he was told that his name was on the list.
Kelly famously quipped that he “burned the boats” when he arrived in Philadelphia, meaning there was no going back to college. Obviously that was always going to be a possible escape route if he failed at the NFL level, but it seems clear now that his philosophies translate just fine to the pro game.
Why would he leave now?
He’s not going to, of course. Texas can make all the wish lists that they like, but they’re delirious if they think Chip is ready to take a step back.
>> Chip Kelly to Texas? [NJ.com]
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It shouldn't come as much of a surprise, but the Eagles have added a safety to their roster.
They claimed Trae Elston off waivers from the Buffalo Bills Wednesday, a day after the Bills released him.
The Eagles were in desperate need of some depth at safety after hamstring injuries have ripped apart their secondary. Rodney McLeod, Corey Graham and Jaylen Watkins all missed Wednesday's practice with hamstring injuries and are in danger of sitting this Sunday against the Giants. Cornerback Ronald Darby (ankle) will also still be out for a few more weeks.
The Eagles had just two safeties healthy Wednesday: Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Maragos.
It won't be easy for Elston to come in and pick up the defense in time to play. Jenkins said if the team brought in a new player, that guy would probably be used more in a special teams role or in an emergency situation. The Eagles also have linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill, who can play safety, and Jenkins thinks the Eagles' cornerbacks have the ability to slide back too.
Elston, 23, went undrafted out of Ole Miss last year. He has bounced around from the Saints to the Bucs to the Browns and then to the Bills. He spent all of training camp with the Bills and made their initial roster out of training camp before getting waived on Tuesday.
Since the Eagles had just 52 players as of Wednesday, they won't need to make a corresponding roster move. They got down to 52 last Friday when they placed rookie running back Donnel Pumphrey on IR.