Philadelphia Eagles: Contrasting the Coaching Styles of Chip Kelly and Andy Reid

Randy JobstSenior Analyst IJune 21, 2013

Apr 26, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly addresses the media during a press conference at the NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles fans wanted a change after the Andy Reid regime failed to deliver a Super Bowl after 14 seasons.

Change is what they got, from a slow-tempo offense that attacked vertically, to an up-tempo offense with little to no huddling that attacks with quick passes and screens.

It's impossible to talk about the similarities between these two coaches. Reid came from an established coaching staff under Mike Holmgren in Green Bay, while Kelly came from Oregon with no NFL experience.

Reid had an open training camp, while Kelly's will be a little more private and held in Philly instead of Lehigh. Kelly has always run a balanced offense, while Reid seemed to forget that he does have running plays in the playbook.

Eagles fans should be thrilled with the change that is coming their way. Chip Kelly is an innovator who will make adjustment after adjustment after adjustment when things aren't going his way. Reid believes that if it isn't working now, it eventually will with better execution.

Here are some of the major ways these two coaches differ:

Open Door Policy

One of the things I really respect about Kelly is that he is willing to explain why he does everything he does. If a player has a question on something Kelly ran in practice, or why a player ran a certain route, that player can come to his office after practice and he will explain his reasoning.

Sometimes it isn't about what you teach, it's about how you teach it. Players know the "why" for everything they do in practice and eventually in games. It may not sound like a big deal, but that approach is far more effective than the "because I said so" approach.

The Up-Tempo Offense

The Chip Kelly up-tempo offense is going to be an adventure for opposing defenses. This type of offense will be adapted by more and more NFL teams in the coming years. I don't think everyone will run a full no-huddle offense, but you will see the majority of the league running variations of an up-tempo offense within five years. Why wouldn't a coach want to run an offense that is effective and gives the defense about 10-15 seconds to collect themselves, call the next play and get set after each play? That type of offense wears on you mentally as well as physically.

Balanced Offense Makes a Comeback

Remember that running game the Eagles used to have with the likes of Steve Van Buren, Wilbert Montgomery, Duce Staley and Brian Westbrook?

It's coming back.

A big part of Kelly's offense is reading how the defense is lining up and having the quarterback audible a run or pass if the situation calls for it.

The Chip Kelly offense will be balanced if the defense is balanced. If they bring the safeties up, they attack through the air. If they keep the safeties back, they attack on the ground. The point is, the offense won't get too set on either the passing or running game. The days of passing the football 80 percent of the time are gone, unless the defense mainly plays the run.

Repetitive Accuracy

This term was used by Kelly after the Eagles drafted Matt Barkley, but it applies for Nick Foles as well. Everyone thought Kelly was set on running the read-option in the NFL. Just because it worked for him in college doesn't mean he is set on it for life. He doesn't make his players adjust to his system, his system adjusts to his players.

Repetitive accuracy is about making short, accurate throws over and over and over again. Pinpoint accuracy is especially important for a quick passing offense. Two yard out passes and screens are far more effective when the timing is perfect and the pass leads the receiver, not slows him down.

Under Andy Reid, the Eagles utilized a vertical passing attack, even though they were technically a West Coast offense. Accuracy didn't have to be perfect, but the offensive line had to block for a much longer period. The offense wasn't balanced, and the offensive line had to be great for much longer periods of time.

2013 will be a totally new experience for Eagles fans. Expect the unexpected and just enjoy the ride. This team could win anywhere from five games to enough to win the NFC East. Regardless of the team's success in year one under Kelly, it should be a lot of fun to watch.


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