Looking into my crystal ball…
I forecast that this years’ most interesting man WILL NOT be “Johnny Football”, but the NFL’S newest genius. This trendsetter is none other than Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly.
Every decade has brought a unique innovator, responsible for some of the greatest coaching trees the NFL has ever seen; Vince Lombardi, Paul Brown, Bill Walsh, and Bill Parcells are most credited for how championship teams are built, until now.
Chip Kelly I believe has the chance to take the game to a place no one ever thought imaginable. It was just a few years ago while at the University of Oregon that his quarterbacks led an offense only seen on EA SPORTS VIDEO GAMES. The big question, however was will it ever work in the NFL? Most believed no! Simply because the quarterbacks would get killed with the simplistic blocking schemes used to run Chip Kelly’s system. The thing most people who watched from a far assumed was that it was based on the the quarterback having to expose himself. This was assumed because of unnecessary hits, due to various zone read packages, and the extremely fast pace in which they play.
The truth is that the quarterback rarely runs, and the system is built largely with the the ability to set up the pass. This would be set up by a very effective running game designed to lure more defenders in the box. Once this happens and you start playing more single high coverages, they know what your going to do before you do. This is a huge advantage not just for coach Kelly, but any play caller.
The biggest concern with Chips’ offense is the number of plays ran in practice and in games. The stress it would leave on older players with less numbers to work with. After all, in college you could have as many as 104 players to get thru practice, with the average age of 19 years old. In the NFL your working with a 53 man roster with a average age of 29 (just an estimated guess).
The key to the Philadelphia Eagles this year will be Chip’s ability to create miss matches with timely substitutions, and always staying one step ahead of the defense. To truly be successful at running this scheme…positive yardage on first down is the key. This means 4 yards or more. By doing this, it puts defensive coordinators in a huge bind.
(For example…When to employ or not to employ Nickel and Dime packages. Whatever the defensive scheme, Chip has a counter for it! If your caught with a dime package on a rushable down your now having defensive backs playing in the box against running formations i.e. "fish out of water!")
The biggest reason I believe Chip Kelly will succeed will be his ability with his offensive schematic to take ordinary quarterbacks and have them play better than most experts ever thought they were capable of. Even with all of Chips offensive innovations, the thing he will have the biggest impact will be on the defensive side of the ball. Now that Chip Kelly’s offense are being imitated he better than anyone knows what it takes to make his offense slow down,and that’s a huge advantage!