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Scheme augmentation v. roster reformation

After contemplating yesterday's McCoy thread that inevitably spiraled into a Vick/Foles argument, I wanted to reexamine the issue while taking the two respective players out of the equation. Whenever the QB position is brought up, we dive directly into debating which starter is preferable before explicitly acknowledging the philosophical divergence the two options present.

There are basically two overarching philosophies that a coach can take when inheriting a roster: 1) adjust the schemes to maximize the available talent; and 2) reshape the roster to fit their schemes/preferences. Ideally, during a coach's tenure, the two converge.

Examples: Andy Reid clearly favors initially prioritizing scheme augmentation on defense, as witnessed by him utilizing a 4-3 here and a 3-4 with the Chiefs. Theoretically, this may allow the team to be more competitive in the short-run. The trade-off, however, is a scheme augmentation team theoretically takes longer to reach its “peak potential.” Coaches are generally hired to implement their respective schemes, not to simply make the status quo more efficient by managing the preferred current scheme. Conversely, prioritizing roster reformation should lead to weaker short-run returns while accelerating the team’s ascension to “peak potential.” I suspect this is what Kelly is trying to do with the defense, but obviously time will tell.

I would like to now link the aforementioned observations to the QB situation. The recent influx of athletic QBs onto the roster—coupled with the recent proliferation of the read-option in the NFL—may be indicative of Chip Kelly’s “peak potential” offense. For the purposes of this discussion, let’s presume that I am right and that Kelly’s idealistic QB is athletic. Taking this supposition as true, Kelly’s choice between Vick and Foles may be more about picking between scheme augmentation and roster reformation. Kelly may have a preference for quickly progressing towards his “ideal offense” even if Vick is arguably a sub-optimal quarterback compared to Foles.

Let’s keep the discussion from inevitably becoming Vick v. Foles. Instead, let’s view the quarterback position through my duopolistic prism of coaching strategies. Is this a reasonable model for how new coaches view their team building decisions? What do you believe Kelly’s preferences are? If you buy into my supposition that Kelly prefers roster reformation, does this lend support to passing on Foles in order to perfect the scheme? Did I omit anything that would help improve this discussion? Thank you for reading and contributing!

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