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Kelly won't predict Eagles' starter

The SportsXchange

INDIANAPOLIS -- Chip Kelly is known for working at a feverish pace. In his first month as an NFL head coach, he has had to adapt to a new tempo.

Kelly was hired Jan. 16 after a lengthy courtship by Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and owner Jeff Lurie. In the month that passed since he left Oregon, Kelly has spent most of his time reviewing game film, particularly position-specific cut-ups of individual plays.

"I didn't feel like we were under the gun. I've watched every game, every cut-up of all of our players," Kelly said. "The film will tell you a lot, but it doesn't tell you everything."

It won't tell Kelly how a player works on the practice field or how they process a playbook that will have zero repeat from the systems employed in 2012. He will offer opinions when solicited as the Eagles weigh contract and salary-cap decisions before free agency begins in March, but will largely defer to Roseman and his new right-hand man, Tom Gamble.

The Eagles face several critical personnel decisions, but began the offseason by securing quarterback Michael Vick for the 2013 season. He reworked his existing deal and accepted a one-year, $7 million contract with production-based incentives that could push him toward $10 million. That's assuming Vick earns the No. 1 job.

Kelly called all four quarterbacks on the current roster - Vick, Nick Foles, Trent Edwards and Dennis Dixon - and has the best feel for Dixon. That doesn't mean he was brought in to compete for the starting job. Kelly said he wouldn't predict anything - roster makeup, how many games the team would win, the depth chart pecking order - including what role Dixon might serve.

"I can't tell you what the future's going to be or who it's going to be," Kelly said.

Vick said recently he might just thrive in the shotgun read-option type of offense Kelly perfected in demolishing Pac-12 defenses in averaging 40-plus points per game over the past three seasons. Though unfamiliar with the schematics of the 2006 Falcons' offense Vick claimed was a reasonably facsimile of the one Kelly and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur are assembling, he would embrace similar results if Vick, 33 next season, could produce them.

"I think 1,000 (rushing) yards would be cool," he said.

If he has a say, Kelly will be coaching Foles, the subject of trade rumors of late and a player linked directly to the Kansas City Chiefs and former Eagles coach Andy Reid. Foles was skewered in January before clarifying comments about the ill-fitting new system for his skill set. Shurmur and Kelly would tailor the offense to the strengths of whichever quarterback becomes the Eagles' starter.

What tweaks and adjustments he'll make and how the "wide-ranging" playbook is pared down are variables until Kelly gets to trade the video clicker and scouting profiles for his trademark visor and whistle when minicamps commence in April.

"I'm not a predictor of how it's going to work," Kelly said. "Until I've had a chance to work with them."
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