For my PE.com column, I wrote about Chip Kelly and compared his similarities to Dick Vermeil, Buddy Ryan, Ray Rhodes, and Andy Reid. I focused on the good traits those coaches had and Chip has a little of each guy in his style. It was kind of interesting to look at Chip in those terms. Going over his background generically is one thing. Putting him in context with our former coaches might help some to appreciate or understand him more.
I did leave out Rich Kotite. My apologies to his supporters.
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Big news of the day…the Eagles are interviewing Jim Herrmann (Giants LBs coach) for the position of defensive coordinator. This is interesting.
Herrmann is a Michigan man. He played there. He was a positional coach there for 12 years. Then he was the DC there for 9 years, including the championship season of 1997. Herrmann did some great things early in his tenure, but the rise of the spread offense proved to be his undoing. The more he tried to adjust to it, the more his defense struggled.
Herrmann was fired by Michigan and became the LBs coach for the Jets under Eric Mangini. When Mangini was fired, Herrmann got hired by Tom Coughlin to be the LBs coach for the Giants.
What do we make of this?
Herrmann is a 3-4 guy. He has coached in college and the NFL. He won titles in both college and the NFL. He is a veteran coach with a system he believes in. I’m sure the system would be altered by what he’s learned since coming to the NFL. One of the downfalls he had at Michigan is that his scheme was too complex for college kids. He started off with a simple, attacking defense, but the spread caused him to try and make adjustments. The college kids could not handle all of his ideas. I’m sure Herrmann would now know how to better mix the ideas and have a balance of simple and complex. Also, he would be working with NFL players and that would allow him to add wrinkles to the scheme if he thought the players could handle them.
This wouldn’t be a home run hire, but I actually might like him more than Todd Grantham. Herrmann ran a great defense at Michigan. Grantham didn’t have a great defense at either Cleveland or the Univ. of Georgia. Grantham is a good coach, but there is nothing compelling about him. There were a few years when Herrmann was considered one of the top DCs in all of college football. The spread was his undoing, but I would think he’s learned a lot since then and would be better prepared to deal with it now. Obviously the spread isn’t a prevalent attack in the NFL so that also helps.
I like the fact he’s 52, has plenty of NFL experience, and knows the NFC East already. Herrmann would be a riskier hire than Grantham, but might have a higher ceiling if he got back to his A-game. You also would know that he’s not going anywhere in a year or two. You’d have good stability with Herrmann.
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Jimmy Bama has a good post on Chip Kelly and the the incorrect notion that he won at Oregon due to superior talent. Heath Evans was a good player, but as an NFL analyst I think he’s a bit of an idiot.