Philadelphia Eagles: 10 Reasons Why Chip Kelly Would Be a Perfect Fit
According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, the Philadelphia Eagles are considering picking Kelly to replace Andy Reid as the team's new head coach. La Canfora writes that the threat of possible NCAA sanctions against Oregon could be pushing him toward the NFL.
Here are 10 reasons why Chip Kelly would be a perfect fit as Philadelphia's new head man.
No. 1: Fast Receivers and Athletic Offensive Line
The Eagles could easily have the fastest group of skill players in the National Football League, and they're all young.
Wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are two of the most dangerous at their position and can be used in the slot, on screens and on reverses. Damaris Johnson is the NCAA record holder for total all-purpose yards and has impressed with increased playing time down the stretch of the season, while Jason Avant is super dependable and Riley Cooper played in a spread offense at Florida.
Also, line coach Howard Mudd's deep offensive line has played in a zone-blocking scheme, so they already have experience playing within a Kelly-like system. Plus, having Brent Celek and Clay Harbor as pass-catching tight ends who can block doesn't hurt, either.
Besides the current uncertainty at quarterback, there isn't a lot of better places in which Chip Kelly would have this much personnel ready to run his offensive system.
No. 2: Talent, Depth and Variety at Running Back
Fewer and fewer teams have even one great running back on the roster.
But the trio of LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown and Dion Lewis gives the Eagles three different backs who bring something different to the table, and that will mean a lot of unique schemes to get all three involved with a creative offensive mind like Chip Kelly's.
Kelly has used multiple players to run the ball efficiently, with guys like LeGarrette Blount, LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas given opportunities at Oregon, so he has some experience using a lot of ball-carriers.
No. 3: Flexibility at Quarterback Position
Just like Jim Harbaugh with Alex Smith, Chip Kelly could be Michael Vick's savior.
With the New York Jets having a lot of cap issues with Mark Sanchez's contract, there is no guarantee that Vick will fit in The Big Apple. Vick may not be able to be the clear-cut starter with any organization for that matter, which is what he wants to be, according to ESPN.
Vick's mobility makes it clear that he is currently the only available quarterback in this league who could run the zone-read spread offense effectively. The one big concern is his injury history, as he has never finished a complete season, and the option will open him up to a lot of hits.
Vick's chances to remain in Philadelphia may greatly increase this week with Nick Foles out and Vick likely to start. Vick feels this week's game against the Giants is a great opportunity for him (The Philadelphia Inquirer via NFL.com).
Foles has played extremely well for a third-round rookie without one of his top receivers, DeSean Jackson, on the field. He also played in a spread offense in college at Arizona. Furthermore, Kelly played against him in the then-PAC-10, so he knows what he can and can't do.
With early draft picks leading to a potentially great fit in a Kelly spread offense, like Florida State's E.J. Manuel, there would be at least three options Kelly could go to for his quarterback.
No. 4: Early Draft Picks
The Eagles are currently No. 4 in the NFL draft order, yet already have a very talented roster.
Philadelphia will have a number of positions (offensive line, defensive line, linebacker, etc.) they can use their pick on, or they can use it the way the Rams used theirs this year by trading it away for more picks. Whatever direction they go, Kelly would have an instant chance to put his imprint on the Eagles roster.
No. 5: Speed on Defense
With the release of Jason Babin and increased playing time for young players like Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox and Brandon Boykin, the Eagles have a bit of a youth movement on defense.
Two-thirds of the linebacker core appears to be set with DeMeco Ryans and rookie stud Mychal Kendricks, and both possess great quickness. Nate Allen and Boykin are two good, young secondary players, but something needs to be done about the safety position opposite Allen, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a free agent this offseason.
Kelly's teams at Oregon always have a lot of depth and talent in the secondary, as then-All-American Cliff Harris' suspension in the 2011 season did not affect the Ducks much that year, and neither did the injury of safety and leader John Boyett this season. If hired, look for him to continue that tradition in Philadelphia.
No. 6: Energetic Fanbase Wanting New Type of Coach
Andy Reid has been the Eagles head coach for the past 14 seasons, and it is time to make a change.
After all, two of the hottest teams in the NFL have former college coaches in Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh, and both of them are from the PAC-10, just like Chip Kelly. The Eagles fanbase will look at the success of both those coaches and see in Kelly an innovative coach who will change things in the Eagles organization that has frustrated the City of Brotherly Love for years.
Plus, the up-tempo offense is something that Philadelphia should use with their speed on offense, and that will bring more fans into the stands.
Andy Reid has accomplished a lot, but every bit of success has a shelf life. After all, Mike Shanahan was fired in Denver despite winning two Super Bowls, whereas Reid has not won any.
No. 7: Veteran Talent
Offensive linemen like Jason Peters, Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans are tough guys who know how to play, while Nnamdi Asomugha, Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson and Trent Cole are defensive players who are tough and hard-nosed.
Even though the Eagles will likely go for youth regardless of who is coaching, a quick turnaround requires experienced players to teach new guys the ropes, as has been shown by the Colts keeping veterans like Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis this season.
No. 8: Possible Chances to Make Moves in Free Agency
With big contracts from players like Michael Vick and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie possibly coming off the books, the Eagles could make a lot of noise in the free-agent market.
Plus, like Asante Samuel being traded to Atlanta last season, if there are teams interested in players Philadelphia could stand to lose, like Mike Patterson and Cullen Jenkins, don't be surprised if the Eagles go that route.
There could be a lot of defensive backs, linebackers and offensive linemen available in free agency, all positions of need for the Eagles.
No. 9: Players Returning from Injury
Getting back arguably the best left tackle in football in Jason Peters would be great.
But if you couple that with right tackle Todd Herremans, center Jason Kelce, Mike Patterson, LeSean McCoy, possibly a healthy Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson all returning from injury, and there is instantly a great infusion of talent for a team that nearly knocked off two playoff contenders in the Cowboys and Redskins.
No. 10: Some Margin for Error
The 2013 version of the NFC East will have three Super Bowl-caliber teams in the Redskins, Cowboys and Giants...and then the Eagles.
With that in mind, and the need to restructure the roster, Philadelphia will have some time to develop a team with a new system and coaching staff.
While the word patience isn't really associated with the rabid Eagles fanbase, there will be some understanding in terms of Kelly not having all the pieces he wants. After all, the Eagles can learn from the division rival Washington Redskins keeping Mike Shanahan after two lackluster seasons and then becoming a playoff team after drafting Robert Griffin III.