Eagles' Casey Matthews weighs in on his college coach, Chip Kelly

Posted: November 30, 2012

Having played two seasons under Chip Kelly at Oregon and his next two seasons in Philadelphia, Casey Matthews has a unique perspective on whether his former coach would make a good fit with the Eagles.

"I think the fans here would love him," Matthews said Thursday. "They would love his attitude, his go-get-it mentality."

Matthews was neither advocating for the Eagles to fire Andy Reid nor was he suggesting that Reid would be gone sometime soon. But when he was asked about Kelly - considered the most likely college coach to make the jump to the NFL - and whether he would mesh with the Philly sports world, Matthews gave the affirmative.

"The way he carries himself, the way his mind-set is, I think they'll really like him here," the Eagles linebacker said. "He would crack jokes. When he would talk to reporters at halftime he would give the most sarcastic answers."

Kelly, 49, was offered the Buccaneers job in January, but he turned it down. Many believe he won't spurn offers this time around, and he's expected to have quite a few. The Eagles are likely to be one of his pursuers.

There are doubts about his readiness, however. Kelly has never coached in the NFL. He first made his name on the national level as the offensive coordinator at New Hampshire from 1999 to 2006. Oregon hired him in 2007 and had him run the Oregon offense for two seasons.

Matthews, who was a freshman when Kelly arrived, said he didn't know what to make of the new offensive coordinator initially.

"You just didn't know how it was going to work out at the D-I level," Matthews said. "But it was crazy how fast that offense took off. You see teams around the NCAA try to pick it up. Even [Jon] Gruden came and met with him to learn it back when I was there."

Kelly's spread offense set several Pac-10 records when he was coordinator. He was promoted to head coach in 2009. The Ducks have gone 45-7 in his four seasons in charge. Kelly's scheme requires lots of speed on the edges, and no college team runs the no-huddle as fast.

Matthews said Kelly was a perfectionist when it came to his practices.

"They're so unbelievably fast," Matthews said. "It was just rapid fire. His mind-set was 100 plays in 100 minutes. You didn't ever have to condition."


Contact Jeff McLane at jmclane@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @Jeff_McLane.

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