Philadelphia Eagles: 4 Ways Chip Kelly Will Change the NFL Status Quo

Jeff WaiteContributor IIIFebruary 5, 2013

Philadelphia Eagles: 4 Ways Chip Kelly Will Change the NFL Status Quo

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    Former Oregon Ducks coach Chip Kelly will revolutionize the NFL in four distinct ways as the new leader of the Philadelphia Eagles.

    At the heart of Chip Kelly’s success is his willingness to be aggressive and to work outside of the status quo. Above all else, his attitude will permeate the Philadelphia Eagles—if they will buy in to his program.

    Chip Kelly is not afraid to take chances and to make his team work hard. These qualities will resonate loudly with Philadelphia Eagles fans, who appreciate a tough, blue-collar work ethic.

    Kelly’s outside-the-box thinking coupled with his tireless effort to improve his team will return the Philadelphia Eagles to relevancy in the NFC East in 2013.

1. Tempo

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    If Bill Belichick is taking the time to utilize a variation of the “blur” offense, then Chip Kelly must have been doing something right at Oregon. The question on most peoples' minds is whether NFL players will commit to the conditioning that is involved in implementing such a strategy.

    In 2012, the Oregon Ducks ran an average of 82.8 offensive plays per game. In contrast, the average offensive plays per game in the NFL was 64.2.

    Not surprisingly, the New England Patriots led the league with 74.4 offensive plays per game with a less than mobile Tom Brady at quarterback. Considering that there is a direct correlation between number of plays and points scored, Kelly has honed in on a clear advantage for his teams.

    If the Eagles can add seven more offensive plays per game to their 67.4 from 2012, it could make all of the difference. 

    This up-tempo style of play wears down the defensive players by the end of the game and can cause substitution issues which lead to mismatches in personnel.

    Chip Kelly will implement this facet of his Oregon offense with the Philadelphia Eagles and the rest of the NFC should take notice sooner than later.

2. Two-Point Conversions

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    Coach Kelly called for six two-point conversion attempts during the 2012 season at Oregon. The Ducks converted four of those six attempts for a 66.6 percent success rate.

    Five of the two-point tries were attempted during the first quarter, indicating Coach Kelly likes to put the pressure on his opponents early by putting up as many points as possible.

    Momentum seems to be less of a concern in the NFL where teams are more evenly matched. The opponent is less likely to feel pressured by such tactics.

    However, NFL games are often tighter contests than college games. An extra point or two may make all of the difference between a playoff berth and a failed season.

    Opponents of the Philadelphia Eagles might want to prepare to keep the extra point team on the sidelines in Kelly’s first year.

3. Fourth Down Attempts

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    Chip Kelly is also unafraid of taking chances on fourth down conversions. The 2012 Oregon Ducks attempted 31 fourth down plays and converted 20 of them—a success rate of 65 percent.

    As we saw in our case for an up-tempo offense, the more plays an offense runs the more likely it is to score. It makes perfect sense that Kelly wants to control possession of the ball.

    Again, this puts pressure on the opponent’s defense to hold up for an extra play and to possibly extends drives.

    The fourth down attempt wears out the rival defense and increases the likelihood of scoring. The merits of field position have been much discussed, but Coach Kelly is more apt to try to run the other team out of the building than win a close game.

    Defensive coordinators beware.

4. Creativity

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    Coach Kelly employs the spread-option in his game plans. Your standard NFL defense uses a 4-3 defensive scheme, which utilizes the ends to crash down on the quarterback and leaves the outside edge vulnerable. 

    The read-option also forces teams to account for the opposing quarterback and opens up the field for other skill players. The success of Russell Wilson, RGIII and Colin Kaepernick are prime examples of the headaches that this style of offense can bring.

    The opposing defense is forced to play smart and disciplined. NFL defenders often rely on their athletic abilities to bail them out, but the new offensive trends are making that harder.

    Kelly wants the defense to have to make tackles in open space. With the awesome abilities of the Eagles’ skill players, this should be another feather in Philadelphia’s cap.