ESPN's Mike Sando ran an interesting article earlier in the 2013 offseason where he gathered 30 NFL insiders to come up with a ranking for every starting quarterback in the NFL. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles ranked 15th overall.
Now, Sando is doing the same activity but with NFL head coaches instead (via ESPN In$ider). This time the panel consists of eight current general managers, four former GMs, four personnel directors, four executives, six coordinators and four position coaches. These insiders assigned each head coach a grade from 1 (best) to 5 (worst). The rankings were compiled into an average and the coaches were divided into tiers.
Here's how Eagles head coach Chip Kelly ranked:
12. Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles (2.20 average)
There were a couple of schools of thought on Kelly. Some were sufficiently excited about him to anoint him as a "1" after a single successful season in the NFL. Others of a similar mind thought he was a "2" trending toward the top tier. Nine voters placed Kelly in that third category, taking a wait-and-see approach. One noted that the Eagles struggled for a stretch last season before taking advantage of an unusually weak NFC East division.
"Kelly is the fascinating guy to me, because with a lot of these young [coaches] I'm not sure, but Chip has a chance to be really special," a former GM said while putting Kelly in the second tier with the arrow pointing up. "He is going to do it differently. Even the DeSean Jackson thing, he was not afraid to get rid of him. He thinks his system can overcome everything and sometimes those guys know. He interests me greatly."
A defensive coordinator lauded Kelly for doing an outstanding job with players. The coordinator also suggested time would tell whether Kelly's offense would have staying power. "I think he is a 1," a GM said. "I just think he doesn't give a s--- what other people think, and he has his beliefs, he is outside the box and he is true to himself."
Obviously Kelly's lack of an NFL track record works against him in this case. A more experienced coach like St. Louis Rams Jeff Fisher, who hasn't won a playoff game since 2003, ranks higher than Kelly at No. 11.
Overall I think it's a fair take on Kelly. I would tend to rate him higher because his first-year success wasn't something to be taken lightly. Kelly is only the second head coach since the merger to win a division title in his first season on a NFL coaching staff. The other, Barry Switzer in 1994, was taking over a team that had just won Super Bowl titles.
Still, I can understand the wait-and-see approach. I do think the quote that Kelly "doesn't give a s--- what other people think" is both pretty funny and accurate.
Around the NFC East, New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin ranked 5th, Washington coach Jay Gruden ranked 25th, and Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett ranked 30th. Former Eagles and current Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid came in at 4th overall.
The coaches that finished above Kelly include: Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll, Sean Payton, Andy Reid, Tom Coughlin, Mike McCarthy, Mike Tomlin, Jim Harbaugh, John Harbaugh, John Fox, and the aforementioned Jeff Fisher.
What do you think of how Kelly was ranked?