The San Francisco 49ers officially announced Chip Kelly as their head coach Wednesday afternoon and, predictably, Kelly's time with the Philadelphia Eagles was the biggest topic of conversation as he addressed the media for the first time since his firing.
"I had a great experience when I was in Philadelphia," Kelly said, adorning a tie with 49ers colors during the press conference. "I want to thank Jeffrey Lurie for giving me the opportunity to coach there... I loved the players that I coached there."
The coach was fired before the Birds' Week 17 game against the Giants in a shocking move. When asked about looking back at what went wrong, Kelly responded, with regard to self-evaluation that "because I got fired I looked at it as an autopsy."
Kelly refuted reports that his "emotional intelligence" was the reason he was fired, and that he had bad relationships with Eagles' players.
"I think you always can apply what you learn from your experiences but one of the things that struck me when I left Philadelphia was the text messages and calls from the player. It really meant a lot to me," Kelly said. He did not mention any of the players by name.
He also mentioned a bevy of hall of fame coaches has having reached out to him after being kicked to the curb by the Eagles brass.
"I was home in New Hampshire and Nick [Saban] invited me to come down and watch football," Kelly said, also mentioning that Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Bill Polian and others reached out to him as well.
In contrast to his final year in Philadelphia, Kelly will not have roster control in San Francisco, and said that if he "wasn't comfortable with that I wouldn't be here."
He also refused to provide much insight into the future of Colin Kaepernick with the franchise. He denied reports that he was interested in trading for the mobile quarterback.
"I don't know where that report came from but we were very happy with Sam [Bradford] in Philly."
Will the Niners run the same offense as the Eagles did from 2013-15 (when Kelly was 29-20)? All signs lead to yes.
"We are receptive to anything that will help us win football games," The 52-year-old said. "We will look at anything, there are always tweaks you can do. We ran it differently in Year 1 than Year 2 and Year 2 than Year 3. I think our offense will look somewhat like it did in Philadelphia."
Kelly's replacement in Philly, Doug Pederson was officially announced Tuesday.