If you remotely follow the NFL, then by now, you’ve heard the latest development in the world of coaching. The Philadelphia Eagles have officially fired the revolutionary offensive-genius, Chip Kelly after just shy of three full seasons. I don’t have it in writing, but I predicted in the summer that Kelly would be toast at the end of the season. Eagles fans and many NFL writers disagreed with me, however. They saw the Eagles as a legitimate playoff team and a dark horse Super Bowl contender.
And here we are. Kelly, in my eyes, has always been overrated. People across the country were literally drooling at the thought of Chip calling an NFL offense. They thought he would reform professional offenses in a way that football had never seen before. However, his teams have progressively gotten worse over the last three seasons.
In his first year, the Eagles won 10 games and were a playoff team, but they lost to the Saints at home because Kelly’s offense couldn’t go slow enough to run out the clock. They left Drew Brees with too much time left for a comeback, and it bit them in the ass. Keep in mind, this playoff run, of course, is with a team that his predecessor, Andy Reid, had largely constructed through the draft and free agency.
Philly won 10 games again, but this time missed the playoffs because they choked down the stretch, losing three of their last four games. But since Kelly was ‘the guy’ in the City of Brotherly Love, he didn’t really receive any of the blame. Instead, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie gave Kelly the keys to the car, and allowed him to make his own personnel decisions.
For all intents and purposes, this season has been a disaster for the Eagles. After they stole DeMarco Murray from right under Dallas’ nose, the Cowboys saw Tony Romo and Dez Bryant both get hurt for significant time. That left the NFC East wide open, and the Eagles couldn’t capitalize. Murray proved to not only be ineffective, but also be a bad teammate and a prima donna, after he bitched about his carries and playing time to the owner. To lure him to Philly, Kelly was willing to downgrade at quarterback, bringing in Murray’s former college roommate, Sam Bradford, to the team. This was realistically the first team that Kelly put together, and it failed miserably. But, I’ve already talked about my thoughts on the Eagles (see my LeSean McCoy post, my preview against the Eagles, regardless if the game ended in a loss, and so on).
I’m definitely biased in a negative way, because I haven’t liked Chip Kelly going back to his days in Oregon. I didn’t think his resume was all that impressive. I mean, sure, he won lots of games for the Ducks, he consistently had a Heisman-caliber player on his team, and he drew some of the best recruits in the country. That’s all fine and good, but where I come from, we care about winning the big game. That, unfortunately for him, is something that Chip Kelly’s college resume didn’t include. So, I was skeptical. I’m also a believer that a run-first offense in today’s NFL is a death sentence- if you don’t have a legitimate passing attack, you won’t be a good team. And guess what? Their passing offense has regressed each year since Kelly has been in charge.
I believe that Chip Kelly will find employment in the near future. However, it won’t be in the NFL. I think he’ll take his ‘unworldly offensive thinking’ back to the college landscape. And his teams will put up points. And they will get recruits. And, trust me, being truly victorious when it counts will still elude him.
Cover photo courtesy of CBS Sports