Oregon Football: Chip Kelly Leaving Would Be Huge Setback for Ducks

Andrew GouldFeatured ColumnistDecember 28, 2012

Chip Kelly could be pointing to the door since he is likely on his way out of Oregon.
Chip Kelly could be pointing to the door since he is likely on his way out of Oregon.Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Now that Chip Kelly has transformed Oregon into a college football powerhouse, he's ready to set the school back to square one by bolting to the NFL.

According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, the Philadelphia Eagles are pursuing Kelly as Andy Reid's successor. 

The Philadelphia Eagles will consider Chip Kelly to replace Andy Reid, according to league sources, and multiple executives with rival teams anticipate Philadelphia making a heavy push to land the Oregon head coach.


La Canfora also names the Cleveland Browns as a possible suitor for Kelly's services.

With potential sanctions looming, Kelly is expected to skip town and leave Oregon with the mess. 

Under Kelly's four-year tenure, the Ducks went 45-7 and won their first Rose Bowl in nearly a century. In total, Oregon won the Pac-12 title three times and will make its four bowl game appearance on Jan. 3, when the No. 4 ranked Ducks face the No. 5 seed Kansas State Wildcats in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

Oregon's offense has flourished under Kelly's rule, scoring 50.8 points per game this season, the second-highest average among all Division I schools. 

The 49-year-old has instituted a ferocious rushing attack that will have LeSean McCoy's mouth watering over the potential of pairing Philly's explosive back with Kelly's run-first mindset. Although Michael Vick is likely to leave, he could revitalize his career by running Kelly's zone read option.

But back in Oregon, a team finally thriving and captivating all college football fans will be stripped of its tactical leader. Kelly created an offensive juggernaut that has tallied at least 500 yards per game in each of the past three seasons.

Can Oregon maintain its offensive prowess without its mastermind running the show? Kelly has engineered a fast-paced attack that carves up overwhelmed college defenses, and his replacement will be hard-pressed to replicate that magic.

Unlike many other college and professional head coaches, Kelly displays the backbone to make a gutsy call that defies conventional wisdom. He's not afraid to keep his offense on the field for a short fourth-down conversion, giving the team the spark and boldness to match its often lavish uniforms.

The NFL will welcome his brass decision-making, but its gain will come at Oregon's expense. The man who paved the way for a renaissance in Eugene will soon pack his bags and force a rolling program to avoid stumbling down to irrelevance.