Dear Chip: Here's what you need to know about us

Chip Kelly was all smiles after his Oregon Ducks beat Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl. Eagles fans hope he'll have them smiling in 2013.   STEPHEN DUNN / GETTY IMAGES
Chip Kelly was all smiles after his Oregon Ducks beat Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl. Eagles fans hope he'll have them smiling in 2013.   STEPHEN DUNN / GETTY IMAGES
Posted: January 28, 2013


Nearly everyone in the region was extremely impressed with your opening press conference and your subsequent interviews. We loved your openness, your honesty, your charm and your sense of humor (which you'll need in the years to come). We also loved your high-powered, run-and-gun, explosive offense, though there were times when your defense gave us pause.

We especially liked your references to some of the things that make our city a very special place - like Wing Bowl and Chickie's & Pete's.

So in return, we want to give you some tips on things you should know about us. Follow them and your time here will be sunny and bright (although most Philly coaches would dispute the notion that it's always sunny in Philadelphia).

We love to boo. You've no doubt heard the song "you only boo the one you love." It was written by a descendant of William Penn. Yes, it's true we did boo Santa Claus as you already pointed out, but he was incredibly scruffy and it was the last game of a truly horrific season (we've had a lot of those). We surely will boo you at least a few times along the way - don't take it personally and don't worry about it until we rent a plane with a "CHIP MUST GO" banner.

We go nuts over the frivolous waste of timeouts. Timeouts in the first quarter, timeouts on a non-crucial third-and-8 instead of taking a 5-yard penalty, timeouts immediately following stoppages of play - all should be verboten. Any such use by the Kelly-led Eagles and you will undoubtedly be booed (see above).

We believe there's a need for speed, to a certain extent. All you've been talking about since you arrived is playing fast. That's all well and good, but during the last several years, our speedy undersized defense has been soft to the core. Let's balance speed with size and toughness, and try some good, old-fashioned tackling and wrapping up for a change. Immediately hire Chuck Bednarik as the tackling coach!

We just want you to talk to us as adults (even though we can, at times, act a bit childish). Not throwing players under the bus is no excuse for giving standard B.S. responses to legitimate questions. We're already concerned by the numerous times you have mentioned "putting your players in a position to make plays." If you start saying "time's yours," it will lead to mass suicide in our fan base!

We might not be football experts, but we can tell when coaches outsmart themselves. We didn't need to be brilliant football strategists to know that it was a bad idea to take an offensive-line coach and make him a defensive coordinator, or to hire a defensive-line coach set on a particular scheme before hiring the defensive coordinator. We don't need you to reinvent the wheel here, and it doesn't have to be pretty. Just win.

From all of the above, it's easy to see that, from a coach's perspective, we might not be the ideal fan base. But if it's fourth-and-1 and we're staging a goal-line stand in a crucial game, there are no fans anywhere who will be louder, stronger and lift the team up the way we will.

A few other housekeeping items . . .

We need you to pronounce things correctly. You are the coach of the "Iggles," not the "Eagles."

We hope you do well with the media. To do so, remember that SportsWeek has the best sports coverage, that Ray Didinger is the smartest sports commentator in town, that Michael Barkann the most personable, and that Howard Eskin will tell everyone you walk on water if you give him the occasional scoop.

We hope you'll get to know our great city well. Here are a few tips: There are tons of great neighborhood cheesesteak joints across the city that you should try in addition to the famed Pat's and Geno's; you can never go wrong eating at any Stephen Starr restaurant; the Barnes Foundation, Art Museum and Kimmel Center are all awesome gems that make our city the best arts and culture destination in America; and, most of all, if you attend Wing Bowl, beware of projectile vomit!

So, welcome to Philadelphia, Chip, we hope we are just as excited about you being our coach this time next year.

Truly yours,

We Loyal Eagles Fans

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