The Philadelphia Eagles and new head coach Chip Kelly are reportedly close to adding former Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur to the coaching staff as the offensive coordinator, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
Former Browns HC Pat Shurmur is expected to join Chip Kelly's coaching staff in Philadelphia, likely as Eagles' offensive coordinator.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 20, 2013
While Kelly will be the predominant voice in the offensive game plan, Shurmur offers the Eagles an offensive mind who can help Kelly get up to speed with the NFL style as fast as possible.
Shurmur also has a history with the Eagles. He was the team's tight ends coach and then quarterbacks coach from 1999 to 2008. In this way, his familiarity with the franchise will help ease Kelly’s transition to the Philadelphia organization.
The former Browns coach won just nine games over two seasons in Cleveland, but his rookie-laden team did make strides on offense this season.
The Eagles are hoping the Browns' loss is their gain.
Shurmur doesn’t run an offense identical to Kelly’s. The former Oregon coach runs his spread offense with a no-huddle approach, while Shurmur runs a more traditional West Coast offense. Nevertheless, the two visionaries could develop a wild system unique to the Eagles.
Philadelphia’s offense was stagnant last season, ranking 13th in passing and rushing yardage per game, but should have been much more dangerous with the weapons it had.
Look for Shurmur to help Kelly get the key offensive players believing in the new system and running it with enough efficiency to make the former college coach’s no-huddle offense work at the NFL level.
It won’t be easy, but Shurmur is the right man to help convert Kelly’s wild ideas from college to the NFL.
Now that the Eagles reportedly have the offensive side of the coaching staff coming together, the next step is finding a viable defensive coordinator. As important as finding an offensive coordinator was for Kelly, the hunt for a defensive coordinator who can create a defense durable enough for a long playoff haul is now the top priority.