They know exactly what every glance means, every hand gesture, every silent stare.
They speak Chip Kelly’s language, and they know what he wants before he even says anything.
They’re Kelly’s Oregon guys, and they’re a big part of his first NFL coaching staff.
“It was one piece of the puzzle you didn’t have to try to figure out,” said Eagles defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro, who spent the last four years in the same role under Kelly at the University of Oregon. “They had been on a four-year interview with us, so it was just one piece of the puzzle that you didn’t have to concern yourself with.”
Kelly brought five coaches with him from Eugene: Azzinaro, assistant defensive line coach Erik Chinander, assistant special teams coach Matt Harper, assistant defensive backs coach Todd Lyght and assistant offensive line coach Greg Austin.
Harper, Azzinaro and Lyght were with Kelly his entire four-year tenure as head coach at Oregon. Chinander and Austin came to Eugene a year later.
Kelly said he knew as soon as he decided to take the Eagles’ job that he wanted to bring a bunch of guys with him to Philly.
“That was really important to me to get a bunch of guys in here that understood me and really kind of built it from the bottom up,” he said. “And Eric and Todd [Lyght], Matt Harper and Greg Austin are guys that are young coaches at Oregon that have been with me a couple of years and understood how I wanted things done and what my vision was.
“I knew I was going to hire coordinators that were NFL guys that haven't had the opportunity to work with me before. I have a tendency to talk really fast and I want things to be efficient. But I also know that I may forget to say something, and Pat Shurmur can go to Greg Austin and say, ‘What did he mean by that?’ Or the same thing with Dave Fipp and Matt Harper for those young guys.
Kelly's Oregon group brings familiarity to Eagles
CSN Philly | Feb 15