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Chip Kelly did some reconnaissance on writers before owners meetings

Philadelphia beat writers heavily out numbered their Bay Area counterparts at the owners meetings in Boca Raton last week. It turns out Chip Kelly was prepared for it.

Interestingly, former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly had his press conference during the owners meetings at the exact same time as Philadelphia's new head coach Doug Pederson. Well over half of the Philadelphia beat writers chose Kelly's Q&A over Pederson's. It turns out that Kelly was prepared for the onslaught.

According to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Kelly called ahead to see how many beat writers from the city of brotherly love had been issued credentials for the owners meetings in Boca Raton, FL. McLane wrote:

Only four requests had been approved at the time. Kelly called one of the few Eagles employees who still cared to speak to him - and vice versa - to ask if the number was accurate.

The new 49ers coach had become accustomed to the large contingent of Philly media that previously followed him to the meetings and often made his table during the mandatory interview the most attended. And he likely anticipated another large crowd since those reporters had yet to ask him about being fired by the Eagles in December.

Kelly was informed the number wasn't up to date. In all, a dozen Eagles beat reporters covered the event in Boca Raton, Fla., last week. More than half were at Kelly's table, while the remainder sat with new coach Doug Pederson.

There are varying opinions about the end of the Kelly era in Philadelphia. He has not shouldered much, if any of the blame for their 2015 season. It should be noted, however, that if the Eagles had won just one more game in the challenged NFC East, they would have gone to the playoffs and we may not even be having this conversation.

Is Kelly calculating or just well prepared? It seemed he had planned on not discussing his final year in Philadelphia but when he finally relented, he had much to say. Was that a planned move so it would not seem like he intended to defend himself or was that a natural progression of the Q&A? He talked about the dysfunctional relationship between himself and displaced GM Howie Roseman that was akin to passing notes in class through a third party, and how he had nothing to do with negotiating contracts.

The man who coined the phrase "Win the Day" at the University of Oregon, has also been known to "win" press conferences with his quick wit and it's doubtful that he ever goes into a situation unprepared. (I shudder comparing his talks to last year's opening press conference by Jim Tomsula.) Kelly does not shirk blame entirely, taking responsibility for blown calls, but when he joked in his introductory press conference that he will call the good plays and his offensive coordinator will call the bad ones, remember that there's a percentage of truth in all sarcasm.