We’ve got a lot to talk about. Rather than trying to cover everything in great detail, let’s just cover a variety of the hot topics.
Why Chip? What Happened? Chip was their top target all along. It was hard for him to leave Oregon, especially since the Eagles were talking to him 48 hours after his team’s season had just ended. I think Chip still liked the idea of the NFL, but decided to stay put.
As time went by, the thought of going to the NFL tugged at him. Think about last weekend’s playoff games. The Niners won with a college style offense. Their coach, Jim Harbaugh, was just at Stanford going against Chip a few years back. Seattle scored 28 points with a rookie QB…on the road. Should have had 31 or 34. Their coach, Pete Carroll, was just at USC taking on Chip a few years back. They were beat by Atlanta, whose offense is run by Dirk Koetter, former Arizona State coach who pushed a an aggressive, sped-up attack when he was in college football. The Pats scored 41 points and won. Their no-huddle offense was influenced by Chip himself.
I’m sure part of Chip was seeing this and wondering how he would do on the big stage. Could he make his ideas work at the highest level?
Howie Roseman is a very persistent man. He doesn’t take “no” lightly. Chip said no to the Eagles, but Howie stayed in touch with his agent, just in case.
My guess is that last night after the Eagles talked to Gus Bradley and had met with Ken Whisenhunt and Lovie Smith and Jay Gruden and Brian Billick…Lurie and Roseman decided to take one more run at Chip. Why settle? Go for your first choice, if you can get him. They made a final pitch and this time Chip said “yes”.
Is Chip a bad guy for leaving Oregon like this? Less than 48 hours ago Chip was at a recruit’s house trying to get him to come to Oregon. Does that make him a liar and a jerk? I’m sure some feel that way. If at the time Chip intended to stay at Oregon, I’ve got no problem with him. If he knew he wanted out, then recruiting kids is questionable.
Some will say that Chip found out about pending NCAA sanctions and bolted. Maybe. He knew about them back in early January, but didn’t leave. I really do think this was a case of an idea nagging at him. It wouldn’t surprise me if part of this is Chip’s desire to prove that he’s not Steve friggin Spurrier, 2.0.
Will Michael Vick be the QB? I don’t think so. Chip is a demanding coach that puts a ton of pressure on his QBs. They must make the right reads in the run game. They must make the right reads in the passing game. All sacks are blamed on the QB. Chip has high standards and will not settle for less.
Vick has been a running QB, but that doesn’t mean he’s been a good decision-maker while running the option. Those are two different things. Vick isn’t an ideal decision-maker in the passing game. He also takes too many sacks and turnovers have been an issue for years.
Maybe Chip will want him. Possible. I just think it is unlikely. And the real key here is money. Vick would have to take a major pay cut before the discussion about keeping him could even take place. I don’t know if Vick will do this.
Schemes? One huge misconception is that Chip needs a running QB. That is not the case. He needs a good QB. At Oregon Chip used mobile QBs because they were available and fit what he was trying to do out there. I’m sure Chip would love a gifted passer with running skills, but passing ability, leadership, and decision-making skills are more important than mobility.
Chip’s offense is built on the run game. He does like to run some read-option. In order for that to be effective you need a QB who can run a little, but it is the threat of the QB running that is the key to freezing the unblocked DE. That allows the RB to have space. If Chip can find a QB who can occasionally run for 5 yards, he can do a lot of what he does. If he has the right pocket passer, he’ll use that guy to pass and his RBs to run. Chip will build based on his personnel.
I do expect to see plenty of no-huddle. Chip wants to run a lot of plays. He wants to put pressure on the defense. This isn’t always easy on his defense, but don’t think that Chip is purely a one-sided coach. He’s not Mike Martz. Chip has ideas, but isn’t stubborn. He’ll adjust to fit the NFL game.
As for defense, I think he’s more of a 3-4 guy, but we’ll have to wait and see what he says.
Staff? I have no idea who Chip will hire on offense. Will he bring in NFL guys? Oregon guys? I’d love for him to have an older NFL coach on the staff so he could use that guy’s experience when some strange situations popped up.
On defense Chip needs to hire a strong, veteran coach. Lovie Smith has said he will not be a DC this year. The Bears are paying his salary for 2013 so why work as a DC when you can get ready to make a run at being a HC in 2014. I’d forgotten about the Bears paying him this year.
There are some other veteran coaches available. We’ll see who Chip goes after. I’d prefer a DC with NFL experience, but would be open to a college coach with the right track record. The key is to hire someone with an established system and plenty of experience. We’ve had brand new DCs for 3 of the last 4 years. We need experience.
Uniforms? The crazy uniforms were an Oregon/Nike thing, not a Chip Kelly thing.
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There’s lots more to discuss, but we don’t need everything covered at once.
I know that I’m excited.