16 January 2013

Chip Kelly will be the next coach of the Philadelphia Eagles

This just in from Chris Mortensen that in a surprise, last-second decision, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly will be the next coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. This decision comes a little more than a week after Kelly announced that he would be staying in Eugene after a late push by Oregon mega-booster Phil Knight to keep Kelly in town. Kelly had been one of the top targets for many teams in the coaching search process, one year after he came very close to becoming the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

So why would Kelly do an about-face and leave for the NFL and what does this decision mean for Oregon and the Eagles?

No matter how big of a push Knight made to keep Kelly at Oregon, what probably made him decide to tackle the pros is the prospect of facing future sanctions from the NCAA in regards to the Will Lyles controversy, in which Lyles, a self-proclaimed "superscout," revealed that he was paid $25,000 to essentially streamline players to Oregon, a fee that Kelly personally approved. Similarly to when Pete Carroll left USC right before the program was hit by sanctions regarding Reggie Bush, Kelly likely left once it became clear that the NCAA would potentially lay down penalties on the program as extremely successful coaches do not just pack up and leave town just for the sake of it. The fact that Kelly had already announced he was coming back makes this more apparent.

The reason why Kelly was such a hit prospect for NFL jobs was not because of his coaching experience, since he has no NFL experience and seven years ago he was the offensive coordinator at New Hampshire. What made him a hot target was his scheme, the breathtakingly fast spread offense that was aggressive, fast and exciting no matter who was running it. How it will adapt to the NFL is the true question mark. Bill Belichick has adopted some aspects of Kelly's offense and many teams utilize running quarterbacks in the zone read in the shotgun but nobody has run a completely spread offense like what Kelly will be bringing to the Eagles and that is what makes his hiring so intriguing. What may just be as intriguing will be what Kelly does at quarterback as Nick Foles is in town and while Kelly has praised Foles before, Foles does not appear to be a good fit for the offense since he is not very mobile at all. LeSean McCoy could be a beast in this offense, however and one thing the Eagles have plenty of on offense is speed.

And so what is next for the Ducks? It is always tough when a college coach leaves for the NFL since there is a difference in when the seasons end and thus Kelly's departure comes about three weeks before Signing Day. Kelly was a huge reason why Oregon has had a football renaissance over the past five years but it is a program that had been rising, mostly due to Knight's cash. And Oregon had a plan in place for if (or when) Kelly was going to leave and that was with promoting offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich, which should make for about a smooth of a transition you are going to get.

No comments:

Post a Comment