5 Best Quarterback Fits for Chip Kelly's Offense
Chip Kelly's innovative, ahead-of-the-curve offense has made the Oregon Ducks a perennial offensive juggernaut at the collegiate ranks. And now, NFL teams want him to bring his ultra-efficient attack to their franchises.
But with Kelly's offense to reach its full potential, specific personnel is needed.
Smaller, more agile offensive linemen are ideal, as are shifty, speedier one-cut running backs.
Almost as importantly is a quarterback who poses as a true running threat.
Let's look at the five signal-caller candidates for Kelly's attack.
Tajh Boyd vastly improved in 2012 as the Clemson starting quarterback.
He demonstrated much better accuracy as a passer to all portions of the field, made much better decisions and typically threw with the proper velocity.
Most importantly, Boyd is a fine athlete and has above-average agility and wiggle in the open field.
During his time with the Tigers, he operated out of the pistol often and has experience with the ever popular read-option.
Though he doesn't have Robert Griffin III speed—who else does?—Boyd would be a good enough threat as a runner to be the perfect fit in Kelly's offense.
Sure, Michael Vick has hardly performed like the old Michael Vick over the last two years.
But Kelly's offense calls for a relatively mobile, athletic quarterback and the current Philadelphia Eagles quarterback certainly can move and is dangerous as a runner.
While it may be foolish to begin his NFL tenure with the 32-year-old signal-caller who's dealt with vast injury problems, one has to believe Chip would love Vick under center in his offense.
EJ Manuel is a 6'5'' pocket passer first, but he undoubtedly is a great athlete and was known for his running skills while at Florida State.
Though he isn't well-versed in the read-option, he has inherent skills to be a better passing version of Daniel Thomas, the quarterback who led Oregon to a national title appearance under Kelly in 2011.
Geno Smith, first and foremost, is a pocket passer.
There's no doubting that.
When afforded time, he can be pick apart a defense and make a living doing that.
However, he is familiar with the read-option and can tuck the ball away and gain yardage on the ground. While he's not a tremendously speedy runner, he would be a great overall quarterback option for Kelly.
Tarvaris Jackson was never active for the Buffalo Bills in 2012, something puzzling with the way Ryan Fitzpatrick played for most of the season.
However, he wasn't awful in 2011 as the Seattle Seahawks quarterback, and due to his athletic ability and talent as a runner, he would be enticing to Kelly.
The main knock on Jackson is that his accuracy is sporadic, and he isn't terrific at deciphering coverages downfield.