Chip Kelly chose the NFL in the end, giving the Philadelphia Eagles their guy.
The Eagles hired Kelly on Wednesday, just 10 days after he apparently had decided to remain the coach at Oregon. Kelly, known as an offensive innovator, will be the 21st coach in team history and will replace Andy Reid, who was fired Dec. 31 after 14 seasons. He will be introduced at a news conference Thursday.
Kelly, who was 46-7 in four seasons at Oregon,
interviewed with the Eagles, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills in a two-day span after leading the Ducks to a victory against Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 3.
The Eagles are known to have interviewed 11 candidates, but Kelly was thought to be their first choice in a long, exhaustive process.
“It’s a very difficult deci-
sion for me,’’ Kelly told KEZI-TV in Eugene, Ore. ‘‘It took me so long to make it just because the people here are special. The challenge [with the Eagles] obviously is
exciting for me, but it’s an
exciting time and it’s a sad time — saying goodbye to people you love and respect — and I wanted to make sure I talked to my players and did it in the right fashion and talked to our staff. I feel I did.”
Bevell talks with Cards
The Arizona Cardinals
interviewed Seattle Sea-
hawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell about their coaching vacancy and plan to talk with Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, too.
Bevell was the fifth known candidate to interview for the job vacated when the Cardinals fired Ken Whisenhunt on Dec. 31. It wasn’t
immediately known when the Arians interview would be held, but that news indicates the Cardinals’ search will go on for at least a few more days.
Falcons’ Abraham ailing
Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Abraham missed practice with a sprained left ankle, but coach Mike Smith said he expects him to play in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.
Eli headed to Pro Bowl
The New York Giants’ Eli Manning will replace the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers as a quarterback on the NFC Pro Bowl roster. Rodgers dropped out Tuesday because of knee and