Could Chip Kelly Give Michael Vick New Life with Philadelphia Eagles?
The coaching carousel has begun.
Former Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid, who was fired after a 42-7 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday, has moved on to try to reboot his career in Kansas City according to ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen.
The Eagles were anything but good this year; in fact, they were one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL. A 4-12 record reflected an obvious lack of chemistry within an organization that fields a heap of on-field talent.
One of the most talented, yet underachieving Eagles of 2012 was starting quarterback Michael Vick. Vick had turnover problems throughout the season, finishing with 22 total turnovers (10 interceptions, 11 fumbles).
Vick's future in Philadelphia is now in jeopardy, and many believe he could have played his last game as an Eagle on Sunday.
The fleet-footed, rocket-armed quarterback showed signs he could be a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback when he returned to the NFL as an Eagle in 2009, two years after going to federal prison. He even admitted he didn't study the playbook when he was an Atlanta Falcon.
Many saw a more focused, matured Vick as one that could blossom into one of the greatest comeback stories in league history. Instead, Vick has regressed, along with the rest of the Eagles team.
The complete demise of the entire team in 2012, and the eventual firing of Andy Reid—who was the longest tenured head coach at one position before the weekend—has proved the organization simply needs a culture change.
And if we know anything else, it's that the Eagles boast one of the fastest and most athletically gifted offenses in the league.
Could Vick actually have a spot in Philadelphia in 2013? Most signs point toward no, but there's one scenario that could make Vick the beneficiary of a system, as well as a necessity.
University of Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, whose Ducks just romped Kansas State last night in the Fiesta Bowl, is expected to be the No. 1 suitor of NFL owners in the offseason. Oregon has already taken action toward a possible departure, claiming assistant Mark Helfrich as head coach in waiting—just in case.
What has made Chip Kelly such a hot commodity has been his high-powered, seemingly unstoppable offensive attack. It's a complicated, new-age, option-based system that has had most opponents scratching their heads.
The thing is, it's not a conventional system, and it requires certain athletes and skill sets. Namely, a dual-threat quarterback.
There's no doubt that Kelly would immediately have what he wants to work with if he takes a job in Philadelphia.
If he does, would the Eagles be out of their mind to try to keep Michael Vick?
Ultimately, Kelly could build the next big thing in the NFL, with Vick as his favorite toy.
We've seen in 2012 that the spread-pistol option, or "tomahawk offense" as I've called it in Washington, can work. The Redskins are using it. The 49ers are using it. The Seahawks are using it. And all of them are in the playoffs.
It's not a gimmick like the Wildcat. It's a real offense, and we've finally seen enough to render the rhetoric that an option can't work in the NFL as moot.
Now, college coaches with impossible option offenses are now seen as valuable, not far fetched.
And no team in the league has a current roster more capable of making the offense work than Philadelphia's.
Aside from Vick, the Eagles have great speed and agility in receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. They have two awesome tailbacks in LeSean McCoy and the sprouting Bryce Brown.
Would Vick work in Chip Kelly's system?
Yes, Philly's defense was an issue this year as well, but the defensive coordinator didn't even make it through the year.
Scheme may not be the issue; it could very well be culture. There's no doubt Kelly's arrival in that city could boost the culture and morale of this team, and possibly enable the newest darling offensive team in the league.
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