For all the talk about Chip Kelly being cold and distant as a head coach, the last week has gone a long way toward changing perceptions.
After a rumor surfaced that Kelly met with USC before the team extended their interim coach, Clay Helton, Kelly sounded legitimately upset that rumors could just surface even if they weren't true (this is not a defense, but coaches who choose to wall themselves front one-on-one contact with reporters are often unavailable to comment when asked about such rumors). He also addressed his team and told them he wasn't leaving after previously saying he didn't feel the need to.
Jason Peters said he didn't know about the Kelly to USC rumor, so the meeting wasn't as important to him. Other players, though, especially ones who chose to come to Philadelphia to play for Kelly over other coaches, most likely had their antennas raised.
"I don't read into the media or listen to the radio," Peters said. "There was speculation that he might leave. It was good to hear it from him that he said he was with us for the long haul."
Making this kind of extra effort could be part of Kelly evolving as a head coach. Remember, he's fairly young for the profession and he's used to a very different power structure. At Oregon, he Skyped his meetings with boosters. In the NFL, so much of the game is built on personal relationships.
Is there a chance this all ends up being a good thing for Kelly? Is there a chance his team comes out of this closer than ever and Kelly emerges a better head coach than he ever was? Absolutely.