Chip Kelly: Best NFL Fits for Oregon's Offensive Mastermind
USA TODAY Sports
Chip Kelly wrapped up another terrific season, and perhaps his final one at Oregon, with a 35-17 win at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
And so, the NFL dreams begin to take flight.
The innovator of the lightning-quick, run-as-many-plays-as-you-can offensive attack appears ready to take his talents to Sundays in 2013, according to an ESPN report.
At least three teams, including the Cleveland Browns, have been linked to interviews with Kelly, who has gone 46-7 during his four-year run with the Ducks. While there's no doubt his system works in the college game, many doubt his famous no-huddle attack that's predicated on tiring out a defense and making use of elite athletes can work at the next level.
Not every NFL team offers those types of athletes at every position—especially at quarterback—but let's take a look at which coaching vacancies offer the best fit for the hottest college coaching candidate.
No team fits Kelly's system like the Philadelphia Eagles.
Armed with an array of speedy skill players in LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson and Bryce Brown, Kelly would be like a kid in a candy store in the City of Brotherly Love.
While the whole mess at quarterback would have to be resolved, you'd have to think he'd consider keeping Michael Vick around for at least another year. After all, what quarterback has ever possessed the running ability at the position like him?
The Eagles are a team with a boatload of talent, but they lacked identity and direction at the end of Andy Reid's tenure.
Philly was too talented not to win more games during the past two seasons. With Jason Peters hopefully back healthy next season, the offensive line should be better equipped to protect whoever is at quarterback and open more holes for McCoy.
And while the defense is a whole other issue to fix, Kelly could at least get this offense back on track and take the Eagles soaring to new heights.
Can you imagine what Chip Kelly could do with C.J. Spiller?
Even Bill Belichick might be cringing a bit at the thought.
Chan Gailey already tried implementing his spread attack in Buffalo, and although it had some mild success, the inconsistent play of Ryan Fitzpatrick probably cost Gailey his job. Luckily for whoever takes over in Buffalo, the skill players are still very good.
Kelly could use Spiller like Oregon star De'Anthony Thomas, who is a stud kick returner, excellent receiver out of the backfield and in the slot and a dangerous threat every time he carries the ball. In fact, Spiller might be one of the few NFL backs who can match Thomas step-for-step, so pairing him with an innovator like Kelly would be downright dirty to NFL defenses.
Beyond Spiller, the Bills have some solid weapons out wide with Stevie Johnson, Donald Jones, T.J. Graham and gadget player Brad Smith.
Gailey didn't make much use of Smith, who came over from the New York Jets as a free agent, but maybe Kelly could find a role for the versatile receiver/Wildcat quarterback.
Throw in veteran back Fred Jackson and a young, underrated offensive line, and Buffalo is only a good quarterback away from being a serious contender in the AFC.
Slated with the eighth overall pick, Kelly could have a shot at drafting a franchise QB in Buffalo.
Brandon Weeden may not be a fit for Kelly's spread offense, but there are plenty of other pieces in place that should make Kelly consider settling down in Cleveland.
Trent Richardson didn't crack four yards per carry as a rookie, but last year's third overall pick dealt with a litany of injuries while operating as the work horse. Remember, folks, this kid still scored 12 total touchdowns and caught 51 passes in his first year in the league. He'll be fine.
At wide receiver, the Browns have a few youngsters who could turn out to be fine fits for the spread attack.
The Browns spent a second-round pick in the supplemental draft on former Baylor star Josh Gordon, and although it looked like a high price at the time, it looked like money well-spent by season's end.
The 6'3", 225-pounder reeled in 50 catches for a team-leading 805 yards and five touchdowns, proving himself to be the big-play threat that he displayed in college. Along with fellow rookie Travis Benjamin (18 receptions, 298 yards and 2 TDs) and former second-round pick Greg Little (53 receptions, 647 yards and 4 TDs), the cupboard isn't bare at receiver.
With some solid pieces in place on defense in Joe Haden, Jabaal Sheard, D'Qwell Jackson, T.J. Ward and Phil Taylor, Kelly could help turn the Browns' fortunes around in 2013.
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