Andy Reid sees Chip Kelly as a 'very good fit' in NFL

Kansas City coach Andy Reid celebrated his 55th birthday Tuesday at the NFL meetings in Phoenix.
Kansas City coach Andy Reid celebrated his 55th birthday Tuesday at the NFL meetings in Phoenix. (   MATT YORK / AP)
Posted: March 21, 2013

PHOENIX - Andy Reid appeared relaxed on the morning of his 55th birthday, clad in a Hawaiian shirt. The longtime Eagles coach, who now leads the Kansas City Chiefs, is enjoying a new life that includes quarterback Alex Smith, another heralded free-agent class, and the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft.

But he still holds a degree of affection for his former employer, which is one of the reasons he obliged when Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie asked Reid to talk to Chip Kelly while Kelly vacillated about replacing Reid.

"Jeffrey asked me if I'd do that when I left, and I had no problem doing that. He was very good to me," Reid said Tuesday at the league's annual meetings. "And really, as a coach, you want your players to be taken care of. You want them to have a good coach. Those are all kids we recruited there, drafted there. We wanted them to have something positive."

Reid holds Kelly in high regard, praising the new Eagles coach and the situation that Kelly entered. Reid labeled it a "win-win." He also has studied Oregon's offense under Kelly and believes that Kelly can have success in the NFL - particularly working with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, a longtime Reid assistant.

"I think most of what he does works at this level," Reid said. "I think he's going to blend it. He brought Pat Shurmur on. He'll blend the pro style with what he does, with the spread. And I think the tempo stuff will translate, that he uses. I think he'll be a very good fit."

Kelly might need to run his offense through quarterback Nick Foles, who was linked as a potential QB option for the Chiefs before Reid acquired Smith.

Although Reid said that he had his eye on Smith from the time he was hired, he added that he did not think Foles was available. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has said repeatedly that the team is not looking to move Foles.

One theory suggesting that Kelly can adapt his offense to the drop-back quarterback points to the success that Tom Brady has had in the New England Patriots offense. But Patriots coach Bill Belichick downplayed the similarities between Kelly's offense and New England's.

"Chip's a good friend; I have a lot of respect for Chip and we've had dialogue on a number of occasions, but from a strategic or football standpoint it's been very, very limited in both directions," Belichick said. "We talk football and stuff like that, but as far as us running his offense or him running our offense or something like that, there couldn't be anything further from the way it is."

Even though Foles appears to be staying in Philadelphia, the Eagles might add a quarterback via the draft. The Chiefs, who signed Smith and Chase Daniel, also have not ruled out adding a quarterback. In fact, Reid said the possibility of taking Geno Smith with the top pick is not "out of the water."

For those who followed Reid in Philadelphia, that was not a surprising statement. He also was asked whether he would have switched training camp from Lehigh University to the NovaCare Complex, where the Eagles will practice this summer. Reid said he liked the idea of going away for training camp.

"At that time, [keeping camp in Philadelphia] wasn't an option," Reid said. "We had a contract with Lehigh and wanted to maintain that relationship there. I enjoyed going away, but I can see the pluses in staying. At that time, I enjoyed getting out and going up there. Everyone's got their own way of doing it."

And the Eagles now are doing things Kelly's way. The organization that Reid presided over since he turned 41 is changing, and he has moved on, too.

"Chip's going to put his own mark on things," Reid said. "I think he'll be very good. He's a good football coach. He knows what he wants, and he knows how to go about it, and the way he wants to do it."


Contact Zach Berman at zberman@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @ZBerm.

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