Chip Kelly New Eagles Head Coach: Biggest Winners and Losers
This morning, it was announced and confirmed that the Oregon Ducks head coach, Chip Kelly, would be the new Philadelphia Eagles head coach.This news was very surprising, being that he announced he was staying with the Ducks less than two weeks ago.
Kelly is leaving Eugene, Oregon after piling up a very impressive 46-7 record in his four seasons as Oregon's head coach. He also led the Ducks to a record-tying four consecutive BCS appearances.
Kelly inherits an Eagles team that is low on confidence and hope, but one that has an abundance of weapons. The Eagles team quit on their 2012 season, but Philadelphia fans should be happy with the effort and execution they get from their team in the 2013 season. Expect a new high-powered offense and a shift of power in the NFC East.
Now to the important part. Here are the biggest winners and losers of the Chip Kelly hire.
Nick Foles: Loser with Winning Potential
This is the obvious choice, but don't count Foles out just yet.
With Vick out this season, Foles proved he can be a quality starting quarterback in the NFL. Chip Kelly is big on competition and playing the best player, so there could be an open quarterback contest even with Vick's $15.5 million 2013 salary.
If Foles ends up behind center, expect Kelly to run a system very similar to that of Bill Belichick's in New England. Before you say, "Yeah, but Nick Foles is no Tom Brady", remember that nobody could have imagined Brady would be good before Bledsoe got hurt.
Eagles Offensive Line: Loser
This much maligned group was mediocre at best this season.
Michael Vick took the lion's share of the blame for the Eagles' terrible season. But when Foles got in and was running for his life just the same, it was evident the Eagles had a much bigger problem on their hands.
Chip Kelly likes his lineman to do more moving than usual, so he needs lineman who are athletic. Coincidentally, guys like King Dunlap and Dennis Kelly could end up back on the bench or out the door.
Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants: Losers
This season, the Giants and Cowboys did not have an answer for RGIII. With the success of the fast-break offense in the NFL, it is safe to assume the innovator of that same fast-break offense will also be successful.
Last offseason, Bill Belichick spent time learning from Chip Kelly. Now, we see a significant difference in the Patriots. When you add Kelly to the Eagles' weapons, you end up with a problem for the NFC East.
The Giants' vaunted pass rush was pedestrian this season, and Eli was back to his mortal self. With the Redskins and Eagles poised to be much better, the immediate future is bleak.
With Kelly's hire, "America's Team" instantly fell to fighting with the Giants for the third spot in the NFC East. Expect some sort of reaction in free agency by Jerry Jones. Sorry Cowboys fans, but you will not make the playoffs or the Super Bowl next season either.
Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson: Winners
This could be the fastest wide receiver duo in the NFL.
In 2010, you saw these Eagles wideouts as the most dynamic duo in the NFL. The last two seasons, though, they have been like Ferraris sitting in New York rush hour traffic in winter—worthless.
Expect a resurgence of the big play in Philadelphia in 2013. No team in college football scored more points in less time than Chip Kelly's Ducks. The majority of the success was due to the ability to run the football.
As soon as the Eagles can run the ball effectively again with LeSean McCoy, you will see DeSean Jackson backpedaling into the end zone once again.
Michael Vick: Winner with Losing Potential
Just when it looked like the Eagles would be giving Michael Vick his walking papers, Chip Kelly walks in the door.
The Michael Vick era has been nothing short of a catastrophic disappointment since the ink dried on his $100 million deal. But based on the offense Chip Kelly ran at Oregon, it would be very hard to imagine Vick not being an Eagle next season.
Kelly's offenses have featured a quarterback who can run the football. Barring a change in philosophy, who would be a better fit for his system than Vick? The biggest question is: Will Kelly be able to turn Vick into the player we expected to see after the 2010 season?
LeSean McCoy: Winner
McCoy is a scat back that catches well, but also runs well between the tackles. He followed up his All-Pro 1,300 yard, 17 TD season with an 800 yard, 2 TD campaign.
Chip Kelly's running backs at Oregon have averaged over 1,600 yards per season. How big do you think the smile is on McCoy's face is right now? Expect McCoy to put up some Marshall Faulk-like numbers over the next few seasons.
Oregon Ducks' Moral: Temporary Loser
The Oregon Ducks football program should remain intact as a national championship contender every year. However, nobody likes uncertainty.
Questions are arising amongst the Oregon faithful. Who will be the next head coach? Will the assistant coaches leave? Will the recruits decommit? Will they have a shot at the national championship in 2013?
Although there is a lot of uncertainty around the Oregon program, expect order to be restored pretty quickly. Many people were uncertain about Chip Kelly taking over for a very successful Mike Bellotti, but that worked out very well.
The program has enjoyed a continual ascent over the last 18 years; there is no reason to think things will change under the new head coach. That new head coach is expected to be offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich, so at least there won't be a change in style of play.
Eagles Fans: Winner
After two years of disappointment, Philadelphia fans have hope.
The team that was coined the "Dream Team" ended up more like the "Scream Team".
Congratulations Eagles fans. You have a winner and an offensive juggernaut.