It’s like another chapter out of a mystery novel…Chip Kelly, after turning down the NFL a few weeks ago, is the new head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. Shocked? So am I. While I was relieved to hear Chip Kelly announce he wasn’t moving up the coaching ranks and making the jump to the NFL before, I was a little ticked he turned the Eagles down the first go round. While at Oregon, Kelly has amassed a 46-7 record in four seasons, 2 Pac-10 Coach of the Year Awards, three 12-win seasons, and produced 3 consensus All-Americans. But what sets Chip Kelly apart from other college coaches who’ve made the jump to the NFL?
Kelly Brings A New Dynamic on Offense
Granted, he was at Oregon, home of Phil Knight, founder of Nike, but let’s also not forget recruiting doesn’t always mean you recruit for the #1 rank every year. Kelly’s highest recruiting class rank while at Oregon? 9 in 2011, according to Rivals.com. Since arriving at Oregon in 2009, Kelly has ran the spread option offense to relative success using a combination of speed and power. He ran a dynamic offense that promoted scoring quickly. What do the Eagles need? A new dynamic on offense that utilizes its speed (Mike Vick and DeSean Jackson) and power (LeSean McCoy), and I call McCoy "power" because he is quick and can’t be stopped when used properly. Andy Reid failed to use his offensive weapons properly, granted they had injuries to their offensive line but that’s also why you have free agency. The way the Eagles have handled free agency in the past has boggled my mind, having a gambler like Chip Kelly in the driver seat makes me optimistic. Last season, the Eagles averaged 17.5 points per game, ranked 29th in the NFL. Last season, Oregon scored 49.5 points per game, ranked 2nd in the NCAA. His offensive prowess led Oregon to their first Rose Bowl appearance in 2009 since 1995. Since 2009, Kelly has led Oregon to a National Championship and 2 Rose Bowls. In terms of coaching, he became the first coach to win the outright Pac-10 Conference Championship back when they had 10 members in 2009.
Pac-10/12 Coaches Are A Model for Success
Since 2009, Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh have made the jump to the NFL. Now, look at what they’ve brought to their organizations: a revival of sorts, a fresh start, a new look, a type of joy and youthful exuberance only successful football fans can understand. In two seasons, Harbaugh has coached the San Francisco 49ers to a 24-8 record and they’re currently one game away from a Super Bowl trip. Carroll, while his progression was a bit slow, has one of the most intimidating and cockiest defenses in the NFL and has the most underrated quarterback at his disposal for a whole offseason. Chip Kelly is up for the challenge in the same breath. When he took the head coaching job at Oregon, nobody knew much about him. Now, he’s known as the coach of one of the most exciting college football offenses in the NCAA. In 2012, Oregon led the nation in rushing with a whopping 315.2 rushing yards a game, ranked third behind Army and Air Force Academy, 2 teams who faithfully run the Triple Option Offense. Kelly changed the face of the Oregon program in a mere four years, the amount of time it takes the average student to graduate college. Becoming the head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles is a sort of commencement ceremony Kelly has earned by turning Oregon’s football program around so quickly.
This is what the Philadelphia Eagles need, a coach who can implement a system that is a model for consistency and success. Andy Reid lost control of his team because of success. The guys who got out of control at Oregon? They got kicked out. Chip Kelly is a no-nonsense kind of guy and his attitude is perfect for the city of Philadelphia. Granted, yes, Kelly never won a National Championship, but how many times did you stop changing the channel when Oregon was on the TV? How many times did you say "Whoa, that was fast!" while watching Oregon play? I rest my case.
My original blog post- http://sportswowisdom.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-eagles-made-right-pick-with-chip.html