Kelly will bring a ton of excitement and interest to Philadelphia in 2013, not that the Eagles are unaccustomed to attention. The hire raises so many questions. Let's try to provide some answers.
What made Kelly change his mind?
"The conversations continued until Kelly decided he wanted to remain at the University of Oregon, the statement read in reference to the team's previous interview. "Still, Kelly continued to evaluate the opportunity to work for the Eagles in the NFL."
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported that, according to an Eagles source, GM Howie Roseman was the key to getting Kelly in the fold. The team communicated to Kelly all along he was its No. 1 choice, even as it spoke to other candidates. Only Kelly can explain what sealed the deal.
Will Kelly have full personnel authority?
Rapoport said Kelly never asked for it. He didn't want full control of personnel. That's ultimately Roseman's job.
Other than Oregon players, who is most disappointed about the Kelly move?
New Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, fresh off a miserable USC stint, had no idea how to stop Kelly in college. Now Kiffin will have to try it in the NFC East.
Rapoport reported in December that Vick was keeping an eye on where Kelly landed because he saw himself fitting in the coach's offense. It remains to be seen if the interest is mutual. Vick is due $15.5 million in 2013, and there have been strong indications that he would not take a pay cut to remain in Philadelphia.
Vick certainly has the mobility to succeed in Kelly's offense, but it's not like he has run anything close to what Kelly did at Oregon. I asked Chris Brown of Grantland, who has written extensively about Kelly over the last few years, whether Vick could fit.
Brown stressed that Kelly would need a quarterback that is mobile, while pointing out it's hardly a new philosophy. Bill Walsh also wanted a quarterback with good feet. (Joe Montana ran the option in college.) The concern about Vick getting hurt would only mount under Kelly, but the Oregon offenses have done a nice job preventing injuries. Vick has mostly been hurt on plays in the pocket or when scrambling.
Brown pointed out that this draft class isn't exactly stocked with athletic quarterbacks. We've heard some connect Geno Smith to the Eagles, but Smith has been a pocket passer. He's not unathletic, but it would be something he'd have to learn. Vick might be more of a natural fit, although Kelly has said many times he would adapt his Oregon offense plenty at the NFL level.
It's quite possible Kelly would prefer to mold his up-tempo offense with a younger quarterback who isn't so expensive. We still have our doubts if Vick will stay with the Eagles, but he would be a lot of fun to watch. Vick is certainly a solid option for Kelly to try for a season if he's not confident in what's behind door No. 2.
The pieces are in place for Kelly's attack to be very good right away. DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin make for a nice pair of speedy, vertical wide receivers. Running back LeSean McCoy is a versatile fit for a fast-break offense. The offensive line has talented pieces in left tackle Jason Peters, guard Evan Mathis and center Jason Kelce. Yes, fantasy owners of the skill-position players should be excited. Kelly will run more plays per game than normal teams. More plays equals more numbers.
It's not that Kelly will simply run his scheme from Oregon at the pro level. He knows he'll have to bend his approach to NFL realities and his roster. There is plenty of talent in Philadelphia to work with.