The Philadelphia Eagles have many more new coaches to hire besides Chip Kelly. If Kelly is going to revive the Eagles' offense, he needs an offensive coordinator to keep up with him. Allegedly, that coordinator will be former Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur, according to ESPN and Comcast SportsNet on Jan. 20.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter first broke the news that Shurmur would replace Marty Mornhinweg as Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator, with Comcast SportsNet later reconfirming it. However, the Eagles have not made any comments themselves, although if this is a done deal, they will likely confirm it soon enough.
If this is true, it would give the Eagles someone with actual head coaching experience on Kelly’s staff. Yet Shurmur's time as a head coach wasn’t exactly notable, as he posted a 9-23 record with the Browns for the last two seasons. Of course, the Browns don’t usually have more than nine combined wins over two seasons, no matter who their coach is.
Shurmur was also the St. Louis Rams’ offensive coordinator from 2009 to 2010, so this position isn’t new for him. In fact, being in Philadelphia isn’t new for him either, as he was the Eagles’ tight end coach from 1999 to 2001, then the quarterbacks coach from 2002 to 2008, as Comcast SportsNet highlighted.
Having an NFL veteran and a former disciple of Andy Reid could benefit the inexperienced Kelly. Yet the fact that Shurmur worked under Reid for so long might upset Eagles fans who want a complete break from the Reid regime. What’s more, his struggles as the Browns head coach may make it harder to have faith in him.
Shurmur’s offense in Cleveland, and even the offense he was once part of in Philadelphia, is nothing like the system Kelly will want to use. Is Shurmur prepared to work with it, and does he have the track record to do it? Yet his past work as quarterbacks coach for Donovan McNabb, Jeff Garcia and A.J Feeley in Philadelphia could be a good sign, once the Eagles work to blend in Michael Vick, Nick Foles or someone new into Kelly’s offense.
No one knows yet how Kelly will blend his tactics into the NFL. But if he merges his offense with an NFL and Philadelphia veteran in Shurmur, the union should provide a significant early clue.