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Kelly made Eagles lose interest in Cards' Arians

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Posted at 5:54 PM, Dec 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-20 19:54:57-05

The Philadelphia Eagles snubbed the old-school football coach to hire the innovative, younger guy three years ago.

It worked out nicely for the Arizona Cardinals.

After firing Andy Reid, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and then-general manager Howie Roseman interviewed a dozen candidates. Bruce Arians, who was The Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year in 2012 after filling in for Chuck Pagano and leading Indianapolis to the playoffs, was on their original list.

But the Eagles canceled the interview with Arians and lured Chip Kelly away from Oregon.

"I never got an answer other than 'thanks but no thanks,"' Arians said.

Arians grew up in Pennsylvania and coached Temple from 1983-88, so he was excited about possibly coming back to Philadelphia.

"Heck, yeah. Philly's like home," he said.

Instead, he ended up in Arizona and the Cardinals are better for it. He's 33-13 with three straight double-digit win seasons.

The Cardinals (11-2) are playing for home-field advantage while the Eagles (6-7) are locked in a three-way tie for first in the NFC East going into their game Sunday night.

Arians and Kelly don't have much in common. It's no surprise Arians doesn't care for Kelly's up-tempo offense and zone-read plays. He dismissed it as a "great college offense" in an interview in 2013 and mocked its use of quarterbacks in February.

"They hold up a card on the sideline, (the quarterback) kicks his foot and throws the ball," Arians said at the scouting combine "That ain't playing quarterback. There's no leadership involved there. Maybe on the bench."