Today Chip Kelly agreed to terms that would make him the next Eagles coach.
If you are confused by this, you aren’t alone. After initially interviewing with multiple NFL teams, Chip declared that he was returning to college. But college coaches, as we’ve seen this offseason, pretty much reserve the right to change their mind about any decision at any given moment. I don’t have a problem with this in most cases (although O’Brien at Penn State saying there was absolutely no way he was going to the pros and then interviewing for the same Eagles job two days later rubbed me the wrong way) as this is a business, and I’m sure there is far shadier shit happening in corporate America as we speak.
The angle of this story that I’m the most interested in, is how people assume Chip Kelly’s offense can’t work in the pros. I’m not going to argue that point, except to say that I think it is moot. Chip ran that system in college because against inferior athletes, speed and misdirection can wreak havoc. As Colin Keapernick showed last Saturday it can work in the pros, but typically not nearly as well because the gap between skill levels from team to team is far less. I think the naysayers to Chip working in the NFL don’t really understand how smart and willing to adapt he is. Naturally there will be some aspects of the Oregon offense he brings to the pros, I just think it won’t be as much as a lot of people think. There are very few quarterbacks out there that can run the zone read effectively in the pro game, and the irony is the ones that can are too valuable to run it too often. Note: Nick Foles isn’t fast enough, and Michael Vick isn’t durable enough. As far as the up-tempo part of his coaching strategy, the Patriots are proving that is definitely viable in the NFL. One thing I will say to Eagles fans, is I think you’re going to get to see guys like Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson used in some very new and exciting ways. I would also be shocked if Shady McCoy did not have a career year next season.
What do you think about the hire? Let us know in the comments section.