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Report: Kelly expected to hire Shurmur as Eagles OC

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Associated Press
1/21/2013 5:17:36 PM
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PHILADELPHIA -- Former Browns coach Pat Shurmur is joining Chip Kelly's staff with the Philadelphia Eagles, a person familiar with the hiring told The Associated Press on Monday.

Shurmur is expected to be Philadelphia's offensive co-ordinator, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the Eagles haven't announced any coaching moves.

Shurmur went 9-23 in two seasons in Cleveland. He was fired along with general manager Tom Heckert on Dec. 31.

Shurmur began his NFL coaching career with the Eagles, serving as an assistant under Andy Reid for 10 seasons. He was the Eagles' tight ends coach from 1999-2001 and quarterbacks coach until 2008. Shurmur then was offensive co-ordinator for St. Louis for two seasons before going to the Browns.

Kelly was lured away from Oregon last week to replace Reid. He's been quietly assembling his coaching staff without releasing any names.

Hiring Shurmur is somewhat curious considering he's a disciple of the West Coast offence, which relies heavily on passes based on timing and rhythm. Kelly uses an up-tempo, spread offence that's centred around a mobile quarterback and incorporates more running.

Kelly is expected to call the plays for the Eagles, but Shurmur's experience developing quarterbacks could make him a valuable assistant.

Donovan McNabb went to the Pro Bowl five times during Shurmur's time in Philadelphia. Shurmur also helped the Eagles reach the playoffs with A.J. Feeley starting for an injured McNabb in 2002 and Jeff Garcia filling in for McNabb in 2006.

In St. Louis, Shurmur had Sam Bradford as a rookie in 2010. Bradford threw for 3,512 yards and 18 touchdowns, but the Rams didn't have many playmakers at wide receiver and struggled to score points.

Shurmur started rookie Brandon Weeden in Cleveland this season. Though he had a rough time, Weeden made progress as the season went on.

The Eagles have question marks at quarterback. Nick Foles replaced Michael Vick as the starter midway through his first season. Though Kelly raves about him, Foles isn't an ideal fit for a spread offence. Vick is unlikely to return unless he takes a considerable pay cut.

It's possible Shurmur could end up grooming another rookie quarterback in Philadelphia.

Pat Shurmur (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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