Why did Chip Kelly need this mess? You couldn’t ask for a better job than being the head coach at Oregon, one of the top football programs in the nation and yet Kelly decided to jump head first into the shark infested waters, also known as the Philadelphia Eagles.
There are few cities as demanding as Philadelphia. No patience from the fans, which seeps through the walls and reaches the ownership. Don’t take Andy Reid as an example. That was something rare, that hardly ever happens in the NFL, and the consistency the Eagles showed under Reid during his 14 years there, including making the postseason 9 times, is usually something teams only dream of.
Kelly decided that only four years as a head coach at Oregon are enough. There isn’t a single head coach in the NFL except for Jim Harbaugh without previous experience in the inferior coaching positions around the league – line coach, defensive back coach, assistant head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator. Nothing. Kelly did incredibly well, 46-7, during four years at Oregon, and decided to leave a comfortable home for a challenge he has no idea if he’s up to.
An offensive genius? Maybe. At the age of 49, Kelly might feel it’s time to take on another challenge, although he didn’t complete the job at Oregon: A school that can win the national title at its current state and state of its conference, but was one field goal away from doing it. Kelly has won two BCS Bowls, but the allure of taking it another step further wasn’t enough for the New Hampshire University grad.
This is the resume: position coach in Columbia, position coach at New Hampshire, defensive coordinator and Johns Hopkins, offensive coordinator at New Hampshire, where his offensive brilliance became noticed for the first time, as offenses averaged better than 400 yards per game of total offense in seven of his eight seasons and more than 30 points per game in his final four seasons; offensive coordinator under Mike Bellotti and then, from 2009, the head coach.
Kelly needs special players to make his spread offense works, which isn’t such a successfully tested product in the NFL. Well, people said about the West Coast offense the same thing when it made its debut so many years ago. Maybe Kelly is the new big thing in the NFL, but it’s hard to imagine a man who hasn’t even tried the most minor role of coaching an NFL team immediately jumps into one of the most demanding jobs in the league, and getting away with it.
Not to mention what this does to Oregon, and their recruiting plans, as a man a lot of talented players around the country and especially from California wanted to play for, decided to jump ship before he process he began has been completed. Oregon are hoping to pull off a Stanford, and make the right choice with Kelly’s successor.