Eagles Hire Chip Kelly: Examining the Winners and Losers

Brian ShannonCorrespondent IJanuary 16, 2013

Eagles Hire Chip Kelly: Examining the Winners and Losers

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    ESPN.com's Chris Mortenson is reporting that the Philadelphia Eagles have nabbed their man in Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly.

    Kelly will become the 21st head coach in Eagles history after leading the Ducks to a 46-7 record over the past four seasons.

    Kelly was the hottest name available this offseason when it came to head-coaching prospects, and the Eagles were finally able to coax him away from the Ducks after it appeared that he would be staying in the college ranks this year.

    With Kelly heading to Philadelphia, let's take a look at today's winners and losers from the surprising move.

Winner: Chip Kelly

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    This may be stating the obvious, but the biggest winner of all has to be Chip Kelly.

    Kelly has gone from offensive coordinator at the University of New Hampshire to the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in just six years.

    Kelly was believed to be nice and comfy at Oregon after reportedly turning down the NFL just 10 days ago, but how things can change in just a little over a week's time.

    Kelly was the prize of the NFL coaching bonanza, and it was clear that the only way he was leaving was if he got exactly what he wanted.

    That appears to have happened in Philadelphia.

    Maybe the best news of all for Kelly is that he won't need to change his wardrobe as he moves from the Ducks to the Eagles.

Loser: Oregon Ducks Fans

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    Today has to be a painful day for many Oregon Ducks fans, as they watch one of college football's brightest minds take his talents to the NFL.

    This not only stings for Ducks fans in the present, but it also must make them wonder about their future, as they get set to face the NCAA's committee on infractions.

    Some are speculating that the pending NCAA investigation may have helped lead Kelly to ultimately choose the NFL, much in the same way that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll bolted to the NFL right as the Trojans were looking at some very harsh penalties.

    Now the Ducks are in the unenviable position of having to change head coaches just three weeks before National Signing Day, while also waiting to hear what, if any, punishment is coming their way from the NCAA. 

Winner: Eagles Owner Jeffery Lurie

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    Lurie had to make the difficult decision of letting Andy Reid go as head coach of the Eagles following the end of the regular season, and as soon as that move was made, Kelly instantly became the frontrunner for the opening.

    Kelly initially turned Lurie and the rest of the NFL down, but in the end, Lurie got his man.

    The Eagles owner needed to make a splash to satisfy Philly fans, and he certainly did that, bringing in the biggest name of the offseason.

    With this move, Lurie put Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on notice that there is a new sheriff in the NFC East, and he resides in Philly.

Loser: Nike Chairman Phil Knight

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    While Lurie was the big winner in the Chip Kelly sweepstakes, Nike chairman and Oregon's biggest financial contributor Phil Knight was the big loser in the end.

    Knight is one of the richest men in the world, but not even his money could keep Kelly with the Ducks.

    The Ducks should continue to thrive well into the future with their top-notch facilities, but seeing his prized coach head elsewhere has to be a blow to Knight and his legions of supporters.

    Knight will not be without a head coach for long, as the USA Today previously reported that offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich would be promoted should Kelly leave, but time will tell if Helfirch can lead the Ducks offense to the same soaring heights as his predecessor.

Winner: LeSean McCoy's 2013 Fantasy Football Stock

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    No player should benefit more from the hire of Kelly then Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, who should definitely see an increase in his running workload.

    If Kelly brings an even somewhat similar version of his Oregon offense to the NFL, McCoy should put up big numbers next season with an increased amount of space with which to work. 

    One of the biggest knocks on former Eagles coach Andy Reid was that he didn't hand the ball to McCoy enough; this should no longer be an issue with Kelly running the show in Philly.

    Expect McCoy to come off of fantasy football draft board's very early next year, with Kelly calling the Eagles' plays.

Loser: New Dallas Cowboys Defensive Coordinator Monte Kiffin

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    New Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin left the college ranks to get away from Kelly and his high-scoring ways, but he seems to have a Stage-5 clinger on his hands.

    Kiffin's Tampa-2 defense at USC clearly wasn't suited to stop the Ducks up-tempo attack in the college ranks, and while he will have better talent to work with in the NFL, he can't be happy about Kelly following him to the NFC East.

    Kelly's Ducks put up 50 points per game on Kiffin's Trojans over the past three seasons, and if the Eagles offense gets remotely close to that against the Cowboys defense next season, Dallas is going to have some serious problems beating them.

Winner: Seattle Seahawks Defenders

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    Before the shocking reports surfaced announcing Kelly as the Eagles' next head coach, it was being widely reported that Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley was in line to become the team's next head coach.

    Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk speculated that the Eagles would look to hire Bradley and then hope that former Ravens head coach Brian Billick would be willing to become the man to lead the Philadelphia offense as the team's offensive coordinator.

    It now appears Bradley will be returning to Seattle as the team's defensive coordinator for at least another season; good news for the 12th man, as well as their young and talented defense.

Loser: NFC East Defenders

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    Monte Kiffin's struggles against Kelly have been well-documented, but the Giants and Redskins defenses can't be thrilled to see the former Oregon coach in their division, either.

    The Giants defense features a "NASCAR" package that has four defensive ends in the game at one time; that package will seem tame in comparison to the offense that Kelly figures to bring with him to Philadelphia.

    The Giants and Redskins were both in the bottom five in total defense last season, so Kelly has to be licking his chops with those two defenses and Kiffin in his division next season.

Winner: Madden 14

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    The addition of Kelly to the NFL also means there should be a major addition to the virtual gridiron next year as well: his playbook!

    Kelly's creative playbook already has Madden gamers salivating at the possibility of many of his formations and plays making their way from NCAA '13 to Madden '14 this summer. 

    With the Niners' innovative offense making huge strides in the NFL this season and the already popular Carolina Panthers playbook at their disposal, Madden fans should have all kinds of options when it comes to high-flying offense in next year's game.

Loser: London Fletcher

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    London Fletcher is getting too old for this.

    As I previously stated, NFC East defenders can't be happy with Kelly coming to Philly, but Fletcher has to be especially weary of his presence.

    The Redskins stud middle linebacker will be 38 by the time next season rolls around, and while he's still performing at a very high level (139 tackles, three sacks, five interceptions this season), he'll get tired just thinking about Chip Kelly and the Eagles offense next season.

    It's hard to say that Fletcher should retire (and I don't think he should) this offseason, after seeing the level of play that he has continued to maintain over the past few years, but if ever there's a reason for him to hang it up, Kelly's uptempo offense could be it.