Adam Schefter reports that former Browns head coach and former Philadelphia Eagles assistant Pat Shurmur is expected to join new Eagles head coach Chip Kelly's staff, likely as Kelly's offensive coordinator. On the surface, it appears a curious fit, since Shurmur is known for coaching in a West Coast offense while Kelly ran more of a spread-style attack at Oregon.
But I don't think it should be viewed as a sign that Kelly is planning to abandon those spread principles. I think everybody has been assuming that Kelly would call the offensive plays for the Eagles no matter who was brought in as offensive coordinator. My guess (and that's all I can do right now is guess) is that Kelly sees in Shurmur a coach with a good track record for getting the most out of quarterbacks. Shurmur worked with Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia and with Sam Bradford during Bradford's successful rookie season in St. Louis.
Kelly doesn't know yet who his quarterback is going to be for the 2013 season, but whether it's Nick Foles, Michael Vick or someone not currently on the roster, he does know it's going to be someone who comes with question marks. And if you're not looking for an offensive coordinator who calls plays, you still need to give him something important to do. If Shurmur's job is going to be taking the Eagles' 2013 quarterback -- whoever that may be -- and developing him as quickly and effectively as possible in whatever offense Kelly plans to run, that's a pretty important job. And other than his time as head coach in Cleveland, Shurmur has the background as an assistant coach to indicate he can handle it.