When asked about his No. 1 criteria for his ideal players, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly told The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane on July 26 that "we want a bunch of guys that love playing football."
When it comes to his ideal players, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly goes straight to the point.
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"We want a bunch of guys that love playing football, not what football gets them," Kelly told The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane on July 26.
To be more specific, Kelly told McLane he wants "someone who works hard and is passionate about playing the game."
McLane dubs this as Kelly's most important criteria when it comes to his preference for players. The first one is "speed and measurables" while the second is "scheme-specific talents," per McLane.
Kelly also has a preference for players who concern themselves with what they can control and are not easily distracted. McLane stresses this was how the Eagles head coach has gotten to where he is today.
These were just some of the things Kelly reveals in a Sunday conversation with The Philadelphia Inquirer entitled "Who Is Chip Kelly?"
A lot of people have been intrigued by Kelly, whose private life largely remains a mystery. However, he starts off his interview with McLane by saying he'd like to keep his that way -- private.
"I think most people do, don't they?" Kelly said. "Unless you're a Kardashian."
Kelly then tells McLane the Eagles -- who got off to a great 9-3 start in 2014 but faltered with a three-game losing streak that ended their hopes of a playoff berth -- were nowhere close to contender status last season.
"I didn't feel we were close at the end of the year," Kelly told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Kelly, who is also the Eagles' general manager, gained full control of football operations in Jan. 2015. He made some controversial moves such as trading star running back LeSean McCoy to the Philadelphia Eagles for oft-injured linebacker Kiko Alonso and releasing guard Evan Mathis, per McLane.
Another publicized move was trading quarterback Nick Foles and a second-round pick for the injury-prone Sam Bradford, per The Philadelphia Inquirer.
However, Kelly told McLane those moves were meant to give the Eagles some salary-cap space.
Kelly earned the ire of McCoy, who told ESPN (via The Philadelphia Inquirer) his former head coach is getting rid of "all the good black players."
The Eagles head coach just shrugs this off, telling McLane the primary focus for the 2015 NFL season was defense, which was why he wanted a player of Alonso's caliber on board.
He now also has five new players who sat out at least three games due to various injuries in 2014: Alonso (16), cornerback Byron Maxwell (three), running back Ryan Mathews (10), safety Walter Thurmond (15) and wide receiver Miles Austin (four), per McLane.
"I think everybody in the NFL is 100 percent injury-prone," Kelly said.
Another potential issue for Philadelphia is its unproven wide receiver corps. Jeremy Macklin signed a deal with a guaranteed $22 million with the Kansas City Chiefs during the offseason, leaving a gap for the Eagles to fill, per The Philadelphia Inquirer's Bob Ford.
Among those who are seen to offset this loss are rookie Nelson Agholor, second-year receiver Jordan Matthews and veterans Miles Austin and Riley Cooper, per Ford.
Kelly also dispelled the notion he was the one behind former Eagles general manager Howie Roseman's ouster. Owner Jeffery Lurie demoted him shortly before he gave the GM job to Kelly, per McLane.
Former Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson was one of the focal points of the offense in 2013. The year after, Maclin took on his share of the load. For the upcoming season, Ford says the assortment of new receivers shouldn't be viewed as an overhaul at all.
Instead, he says "it is just how Kelly views the position."
Roseman now mainly works on the Eagles' salary cap and contracts, but even Kelly is unsure what his former boss' current job entails:
"I disagree with the word 'takover.'
"I think he (Roseman) does a good job in what his job is now in terms of overseeing contracts, in terms of overseeing all those other things that are under it. There are some things he's doing -- I don't know exactly what those are. Those are under the direction of Mr. Lurie."
The 51-year-old Kelly has amassed a 20-12 (.625) win-loss record in two seasons as Philadelphia Eagles head coach, per Pro-Football-Reference.com.
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