PHILADELPHIA — In the end, Chip Kelly chose the NFL, giving the Eagles their guy.
Philadelphia hired Kelly on Wednesday, 10 days after he decided to stay at Oregon. The 49-year-old Kelly, known as an offensive innovator, becomes the 21st coach in team history and replaces Andy Reid, who was fired on Dec. 31 after a 4-12 season.
He’ll be introduced at a news conference today at 1:30 p.m. at the Eagles’ practice facility.
Kelly, who was 46-7 in four years at Oregon, interviewed with the Eagles, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills in a two-day span after leading the fast-flying Ducks to a victory over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl Jan. 3.
The visor-wearing Kelly built Oregon into a national powerhouse. The Ducks went to four straight BCS bowl games and have won three conference championships.
Kelly has tough shoes to fill. Reid won more games than any coach in franchise history and led the Eagles to nine playoff appearances, six division titles, five conference championship games and one Super Bowl berth.
Kelly and the Eagles have the No. 4 pick in the draft as well as some talented players on offense who could fit his scheme. Running back LeSean McCoy and receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin seem like ideal matches. Quarterback Nick Foles, however, isn’t.
On the other hand, Michael Vick could be perfect. But it’s unlikely the Eagles would want to pay the $16 million for an injury-prone quarterback, who will be 33 next year.
Bears hire CFL coach Trestman
The Chicago Bears hired Montreal Alouettes coach Marc Trestman to replace the fired Lovie Smith and gave him two basic tasks — get the most out of quarterback Jay Cutler and lead the team to the playoffs on a consistent basis.
It’s the first head coaching job in the NFL for Trestman, a longtime assistant in the league who spent the past five seasons coaching the CFL’s Alouettes and led them to two Grey Cup titles. Trestman was an offensive coordinator with Cleveland, San Francisco, Arizona and Oakland.
Chicago general manager Phil Emery cast a wide net in his search, meeting with at least 13 candidates. Besides Trestman, he also brought back Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and the Indianapolis Colts’ Bruce Arians for second interviews.
A source said the Bears have hired New Orleans Saints offensive line coach Aaron Kromer as their offensive coordinator, hoping to revive an attack that often sputtered with Mike Tice calling the plays.
Cardinals interview Bevell
The Arizona Cardinals, one of two NFL teams still looking for a coach, interviewed Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and plan to talk to Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
Bevell, 43, was the fifth known candidate to interview for the job vacated when the team fired Ken Whisenhunt the day after the season ended.
It wasn’t known when the Arians interview would be held.
Smith expects injured Abraham to start vs. 49ers
It’s too early for the Atlanta Falcons to know how much defensive end John Abraham will play in Sunday’s NFC title game.
Abraham, a former USC star and the NFL’s active sacks leader, made it through 15 snaps in last week’s divisional playoff victory over Seattle before aggravating a left ankle injury that forced him to leave in the second quarter.
Abraham, 34, initially was hurt in the regular season finale loss to Tampa Bay, limping off the field with the help of trainers.