Pete Carroll, Chip Kelly form mutual admiration society ahead of Seahawks-Eagles tilt
When the Philadelphia Eagles host the Seattle Seahawks at Lincoln Financial Field, it will reunite two head coaches who used their dominance of the Pac-12/Pac-10 conference as springboards to an NFL head coaching job.
Both Pete Carroll (USC Trojans) and Chip Kelly (Oregon Ducks) established their reputations as top-flight coaches at Pac-12 schools and will meet for the first time at the NFL level on Sunday.
The two only faced each other once as head coaches back in their college days — Kelly’s Ducks throttled Carroll’s Trojans (in his last year at USC) by a score of 47-20 in 2009, meaning this will be the first time Carroll will be able to exact some semblance of revenge.
Carroll of course moved on to the NFL following that season and Kelly continued to bolster his resumé as one of the finest coaches in the coaching ranks until taking the Philadelphia Eagles head coaching job in 2013.
Instead of any residual animosity existing between the two coaches, there seems to be a lot of mutual respect and admiration from both of them.
Carroll referred this week to Kelly as an “innovator” while Kelly professed a lot of “respect” for his coaching colleague.
“I did not get to know him very well,” Carroll said of Kelly, per ESPN.com. “I have tremendous respect for the innovation. I don’t know the history of how this works, but I think he has been as much an innovator in the game as anybody in college football.”
Carroll added that Kelly has managed to transform the same concepts that made the Ducks a perennial offensive powerhouse to the NFL, something some observers originally believed was not possible.
“He’s brought his approach, his style and his mentality to the league and it’s worked out great for him,” Carroll continued. “I think the way Oregon kind of burst to the spotlight was brought about by their offense and the style that Chip was noted for. There are a lot of teams running no huddle and there are a lot of teams trying to speed it up. I think the tempo and the belief in that is really what Chip was the great champion of.”
Kelly sent the accolades right back at Carroll.
“I was just watching practice,” Kelly said about a time in 2010 when he visited Seahawks facilities during Carroll’s first year there, via ESPN.com. “I’ve known Pete — we were in the same league together. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. He did an unbelievable job when he was at USC. He’s doing the same exact thing with the Seahawks.”
The two appear to have a profound amount of respect for one another. Since the rumors that Kelly was in the running for the Florida Gators head coaching position have been squashed by Kelly himself, perhaps it will be possible for the former Pac 10-now-Pac-12 coaches to establish a rivalry they were unable to accomplish in the college ranks.
(photo credit: The Oregonian)