Chip Kelly Doubters

Posted: July 11th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 59 Comments »

Dan Graziano covers the NFC East for ESPN. Mike Freeman covers the NFL for CBS Sports. Both guys have some odd dislike for Chip Kelly.

I have said this before, but let’s be clear again. I fully acknowledge that Chip might fail. This isn’t just lip service. I genuinely understand that he might get to the NFL and find that his ideas don’t work here.

I don’t expect that to be the case, but you have to accept that it is possible.

For some reason, it bugs me when writers seem so eager to accept the notion that Kelly will fail. They seem to fall into the Steve Spurrier trap. Shout it from the mountain tops…CHIP KELLY ISN’T STEVE FRICKIN’ SPURRIER!!!

As I’ve documented before, Spurrier loaded up his staff with Florida guys and cronies.

I think one of Steve Spurrier’s big mistakes was assuming that what worked so well for him in college would work for sure in the NFL. Confidence is good, hubris is bad. Look back at the offensive staff Spurrier put together for his 2002 team:

HC/OC/QB – Steve Spurrier (Florida grad)
OL/Asst OC – Kim Helton (Florida grad, experience as NFL OL coach)
RB – Hue Jackson (first NFL job)
WR – Steve Spurrier Jr (need I say more)
TE – Lawson Holland (from Florida staff)
Asst QB – Noah Brindise (Florida QB & from UF staff)
Asst OL – John Hunt (from Florida staff)

Kelly kept 2 assistants from Reid. He hired Pat Shurmur, a man he’d never met, to help him run the offense. Kelly then hired a variety of college and pro guys to fill out the offensive staff. The 2 offensive coaching staffs could not be more different. Spurrier wanted sycophants. He wanted guys that would be comfortable around. Kelly wanted to hire the best coaches. Kelly is cognizant of the fact he’s new to the NFL and must adapt to the league.

Chip Kelly has his eyes wide open. He’s talked to NFL teams for years. He knows what he is getting into. Kelly is doing everything in his power to be ready for the NFL.

Freeman wrote a Training Camp preview that is just awful. Really and truly awful..

First…he didn’t mention Nick Foles once in the preview. That alone tells you the piece is worthless. Like Foles or not, he’s a huge factor in what happens this summer.

Now for the stuff he does mention.

Chip Kelly is the coach now and he promises a more up-tempo style of offense. But many a college coach has promised to transform the NFL with their college-y ideas and many have failed. See: Spurrier, Steve, among others.

Ugh. Already covered.

What Kelly will have to do is patch an offensive line that was constantly injured last season.

Huh? Jason Peters is healthy. Same for Todd Herremans. Jason Kelce is on the mend. The team added Lane Johnson.

The quarterback situation is a mess. It’s basically an open competition that Mike Vick will likely win but even if he does, Vick doesn’t stay healthy. Fourth-round pick Matt Barkley will see playing time, maybe a significant amount.

Another media guy who just knows Vick will win. And now Barkley is going to play for sure. Ugh.

The most interesting thing to watch will be Kelly. He wants to run 80 to 100 plays a game, which will never consistently happen. For the past 30 years, the average number of offensive NFL plays has been in the 60s. The Patriots last season once ran 92. That was considered Haley’s comet territory. To run that many plays weekly is impossible and would lead to Kelly’s offense being physically battered. There wouldn’t be enough players to finish a season.

Kelly didn’t average 80 snaps a game at Oregon. He didn’t lead the NCAA or even the Pac-12 in plays per game. Kelly does want extra snaps and will run no-huddle, but his ideas are based in logic not some insane numbers. Brent from Eagles Rewind wrote a post about whether more snaps even led to more injuries and he couldn’t find a direct correlation. You would think Freeman would have considered that question instead of jumping to a conclusion, but why bother. On to the next point.

For all of its alleged fast pace and openness, Kelly will utilize two (and sometimes three) tight ends to shore up a shaky offensive line. It’s yet another attempt by a team to duplicate the Rob Gronkowski/Aaron Hernandez tight end tandem that was the best in football until injuries and homicide charges destroyed it.

Freeman sounds flat out dumb here. The extra TEs are here to help the OL. No wait…they’re here to copy the Pats offense, which means they won’t be helping the OL. The Eagles are copying the Patriots use of TEs. There is no secret about that. But it has nothing to do with the OL. TEs can be mismatch players. That’s why Belichick loves them. Kelly too.

This is for certain: Around the league, few coaches think Kelly will succeed. Coaches are a highly cynical bunch. They think the daily rigors of the sport will beat Kelly’s schemes into oblivion and he’ll be chased back to college. It will be up to Kelly to prove them wrong.

So Freeman talked to all 32 coaches? How about 20? 10? There is no way he got on the horn to research this. Freeman is making a lazy statement based on something he heard from a coach or two and it happens to mesh with his own beliefs.

If you want to read more of Freeman’s thoughts on “Chip Spurrier”, go here. Ugh.

Freeman can be a good writer. He knows teams out west pretty well. Most of his Eagles coverage ranges from bad to awful. This TC preview would be bad work by a young blogger, let alone a national football writer.

* * * * *

Dan Graziano covered the subject of whether the Eagles would bounce back from a losing season in 2013.

He has his doubts. I’m fine with that. It isn’t hard to argue that the Eagles have some holes. This one comment bugged me.

But it’s the unknowns that hold you back here, right? We assume Kelly’s impact will be positive, but it might not be. Even if it is in the long run, it could take some time for the players to learn and/or buy into his schemes and ideas. And looming over all of that is an incredibly shaky quarterback situation that could sink the whole thing even if everything else goes right.

Kelly could possibly hinder the 2013 Eagles? Wow. I don’t get that. Maybe I’m too much of a Kelly fan and I’m being unreasonable, but Kelly having a “negative impact” on the team just seems crazy to me.

The Eagles were 4-12 last year. This team had to have a change. We were at rock bottom (or as close as I hope to being there). If the Eagles had gone 9-7 I might get Graziano’s comment. At that point, Kelly would be tasked with getting the team over the hump right away. Instead, Kelly is just trying to get the team pointed in the right direction.

Kelly has brought tremendous enthusiasm and excitement to the Eagles. That won’t last long term, but it is palpable right now. It will help the 2013 team. Unless Kelly goes bonkers and named Evan Mathis the starting QB and Jimmy Kempski the new LG, I don’t think he’s going to hinder the Eagles.

I do get Graziano’s point that Kelly is new to the NFL and will be learning, but he has been a head coach for 5 years. Most coaches struggle with the logistical side of things when they are in charge for the first time. Kelly knows that side. He’s just got the NFL adjustment. That would be more of an issue if he wasn’t such a student of the game. When Kelly met with the Pats, he wasn’t just there giving them info. Kelly was learning about pro football and how they did things.

In order for this comment to have more meaning, you must understand that Graziano has previously written about “Kelly the cheater” and gone on record as saying that of the current NFC East coaches, he thinks Kelly will be gone the first. Graziano thinks Kelly will last in Philly for 3 years or less. All I can say is … ugh.

* * * * *

The Supplemental Draft came and went. No one was picked. I don’t get the feeling the Eagles will sign any of them as free agents. These players just aren’t that good.

_


  • Homer Frizzell

    I miss Matt Mosley.

    • theycallmerob

      never thought I’d see those words in print. but alas…..so do I.

      Tommy, you left off the bit from last summer where Dan linked to a 24/7 article about the 9-technique, and how the “wide 9 scheme” was a catchphrase by the media, blah blah blah…..but after he climbed down from smug mountain, Dan referred to the Wide 9 the rest of the year.

      I’m sure that strongly-worded email he received from me haunts his dreams to this day.

  • Anders

    “Freeman can be a good writer” Sorry no Tommy. I havnt seen a good article written by a CBSSPORTS writer in a long long time and Freeman is in the front of stupidity.

    • TommyLawlor

      Pete Prisco does some good work for CBS.

    • Mac

      Quote is taken out of context. Tommy assumed that everyone could make the mental leap to realize he is actually referring to Brian Freeman in this sentence and then jumps back into talking about Mike. It’s all good, I almost made the same mistake.

    • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

      Hey now, some of their “Eye on Baseball” stuff is good.

  • http://www.hazepiffbudweedcheeba/blazeituppleasepeacetocheeba.com micksick

    Tommy vs Freeman for the heavyweight belt!!! The winner gets a bag of cheetos and bottle of mountain dew. All this on more on the next SPORTS WRITE OFF!!!! *cheesy music plays

    • TommyLawlor

      Could we make that Doritos? Or even better…Funyuns?

      • http://www.hazepiffbudweedcheeba/blazeituppleasepeacetocheeba.com micksick

        Done. and ill tell you what, i can do both. Doritos and funyuns. But its got to be a sports write off to the death… however that would work idk, but it should be interesting lol

        • TommyLawlor

          I’m in.

          • theycallmerob

            I know it’s a recession and all, but killing a man for funyuns? I’ll go aggravated assault at best. Won’t catch me doing 25-to-life over snack food, unless there’s some decent bourbon involved.

          • TommyLawlor

            Prison isn’t so bad. It’s actually kinda like being at an Eagles game if you believe the national media.

          • theycallmerob

            I spent a number of years working in the Baltimore City Detention Center (just left last December, but I still go in weekly as a volunteer). That place has taught me two very important lessons- (1) “The Wire’ is non-fiction, and (2) whenever I gotta take someone out, I always cross the county line.
            Although the jumpsteady (nickname for the jailhouse liquor) does taste similar to PBR, but with a hint of listerine/purell

          • Dominik

            ” (1) “The Wire’ is non-fiction”

            Seriously, who argues the converse? :)

    • GEagle

      Freeman wouldn’t get a title shot in the featherweight division. heavyweight? Lol Fughedaboutit

      • http://www.hazepiffbudweedcheeba/blazeituppleasepeacetocheeba.com micksick

        lol

  • Andrew J. Race

    Tommy, really love your work and passion man…im an eagles guy born and bred and i have talked to you on twitter and such and visit this blog 2 to 3 times a day to read up on your work…never a dull moment my friend GO BIRDS!!

    • TommyLawlor

      Thank you sir. Always glad to keep you guys entertained and the Eagles talk going.

      • Andrew J. Race

        Absolutely Tommy. I also like your reasonable requests for the QB competition as keeping it pros and cons and NO personal attacks based on vick-foles Etc.
        My question is this, Do YOU personally, have any expectation that Barkley may surprise and win the QB job? I think Foles will initially win, but lord only knows where things will go from here

  • John

    Tommy – saying that Kelly might not have a positive impact is not the equivalent of suggesting he’ll have a negative impact or even “hinder” them. You’re looking too much into that comment.

    • TommyLawlor

      “We assume Kelly’s impact will be positive, but it might not be. ”

      That sure feels negative to me, but that’s just my perception….not a fact. I certainly understand that.

      • Neil

        Yeah, I read that comment and think he means it’s possible that Chip Kelly will field a worse team than last year. The one that was focused on how much they were going to do in the future rather than what they needed to do in the present, that had massive coverage gaffs at least three times every game after the DC switch with a secondary that earned the name Charmin Brigade.

        It’s possible the Eagles record doesn’t improve, but I really can’t fathom how the team won’t have. For that to happen, Kelly would have to perform on the job how a regular shmuck like me or Dan would. Bumbling fools just don’t get these jobs except as a black swan. Dan is assuming Kelly’s like the last one (Spurrier) because they both came from college, as if it’s being a prolific offensive mind in the college game that turns a man into a fool.

  • Cranky Caucasian

    Another big difference with Spurrier was the amount of work he put in. He thought he could work from 9-5 then go golfing and it would work. Kelly puts in the hours and effort. This isn’t even apples and oranges, it’s apples and station wagons.

    • TommyLawlor

      Now that is funny.

      Even I know the difference in apples and station wagons.

  • Iskar36

    I definitely agree with your take on Freeman’s article. It is poorly researched and shows his lack of knowledge about the Eagles. But I have to disagree with you on Graziano’s article/opinions. I definitely believe in Kelly and I am excited about what he will do for the Eagles, but I think Graziano’s point is that we all assume he will have a positive impact on the Eagles long term, not just push us from 4 wins to 8 wins in a season. There is absolutely a potential that Kelly doesn’t turn this team into a perennial playoff contender, and to me, that would support Graziano’s statement that Kelly isn’t having a positive impact on the team. To me, that’s what defines “positive impact.” At the end of the day, it’s all about wins. Sure, he may implement better workout routines, better health, better practices, but that’s meaningless if it doesn’t equate to wins. Until he proves he can do that, it’s not unreasonable to doubt him.

    I also completely disagree with the notion that it is out of the realm of possibilities that Kelly will be here 3 years or less. I don’t mean to call you out, but to me, saying that’s an unreasonable assessment just comes off as being a homer. To me, 3 years is exactly the amount of slack Kelly has to get this team turned around. This year, almost nothing he does baring a complete implosion (that would include internal issues more than just wins and losses) will get him fired. Next year, as long as the team shows some sort of promise to be successful, Kelly will be fine. In year three though, if the Eagles are not seriously pushing for the playoffs or at the very least proving they have a legitimate option at QB (who has shown he can have success on the field), I don’t think there is any way Kelly is still given a pass. Coaches just don’t have that long of a leash. And to me, the support Graziano uses for his argument is completely fair. He points out the major uncertainty we have at QB. Without a legitimate quality QB, it is hard for any coach to succeed. And when you have a QB competition like we are having, you can’t claim to have a legitimate option yet. One of them may turn into one down the line, but right now, Vick, Foles, or Barkley need to do enough to prove they can be a starter, let alone a quality QB.

    I’m not a big Graziano guy, but having doubts about Kelly doesn’t make an article bad. To me, it sounds like that’s the part you are arguing with and I just don’t buy that.

    • TommyLawlor

      Iskar, I never said Kelly couldn’t be gone in 3 years. I do think it is highly unlikely, That has nothing to do with Chip winning so much as simple economics. The Eagles are paying him a lot of money. They are going to go out of the way to give him as much time as possible to ge this thing turned around.

      I think Kelly would have to be awful to be fired after just 2 or 3 years. I don’t think it is likely that he’ll be awful (3 and 4 win seasons). Kelly was successful in college. He inherits some good weapons here. Things might not work out as hoped, but I don’t think things are going to be disastrously bad.

      • Iskar36

        I guess I still disagree with Kelly having to be awful to be fired. Lurie wants to win. They paid Kelly alot because they believe he can do that, but if he can’t, I don’t think they will let economics dictate that decision. I agree that Lurie will be patient, but three years is a long time in the NFL, and Lurie is going to want to see a return on his investment. If he isn’t getting that, I think his desire to win will outweigh his desire to save money for the sake of money.

        It took Lurie two bad seasons from AR to fire him even though he had a history of winning and being successful. I don’t see why if Kelly doesn’t show he is successful from a W/L stand point, he would be given more than three seasons even with the situations being widely different.

        Either way, let’s hope Kelly has success the way we think he will and it never comes to that.

        • Neil

          This is well reasoned, but I think one thing missing is the QB situation. Let’s run through some scenarios:

          What if the eagles don’t find a strong option for three years and Kelly averages .500 w/l and misses the playoffs each time? Without a strong quarterback, that’s not a bad feat of coaching at all, but it is possible the blame for the lack of a QB can be laid at Kelly’s feet. This would come down to what Kelly was given: did he blow it on a top15 guy that he drafted after his first season? Would we be able to say that that QB is hopeless after only two bad seasons? And I don’t think you can lay it at Kelly’s feet if, like Carroll, he is forced by chance to take a flyer on a free agent and a midround guy every year.

          In this situation, to achieve that record, the defense and running game would have to be strong. I have trouble thinking of circumstances to add to that record that would indicate Kelly absolutely needs to go.

          Then, what if we find a promising young quarterback but, still, are about .500 every year, missing the playoffs? The defense would probably be quite clearly the problem. In this case, I think Davis would go, not Kelly.

          Now, all bets are off if Kelly can’t do much better than .400 in three years, but that sounds pretty disastrous to me.

          • Iskar36

            First off, in each scenario, you would have to look carefully at the circumstances. Was the team playing better each year but that didn’t manifest itself into W/L? As you said, how were we trying to find a better QB and what has Kelly done or not done to help his QB? Are injuries part of the issue? ETC.

            Still, if over 3 years, he is averaging 8-8, most likely we are pushing for a playoff spot. Unless we are 8-8 each season, at least one year, we have a winning record. To me, then it’s not really a debate, you almost certainly keep Kelly in that scenario. My argument though is more about having a 6-10 or 7-9 record in year 3 after similar records in years 1 and 2. I think having come from the AR era, we are too quick to assume that 8-8 is a given in the NFL. We limped into an 8-8 season two years ago and then only won 4 games last season. So Kelly will have to make positive changes on this team to get us to 8-8 let alone a perennial playoff contender. Until he shows he can do that, I don’t think we can assume he will have a win/lose record of .500 just yet.

          • Neil

            Yeah, definitely can’t assume anything as far as record. All good points. All I really have to add is that, I think more important than anything after that third year, has Kelly demonstrated to Lurie he is incapable of producing NFL QBs/an NFL passing game? I think that’s the biggest question mark with Kelly. If the answer to that question becomes yes, Kelly has to go, and it could definitely happen within three years.

    • OregonDucker

      First, Iskar, your post is well balanced and I agree with most points. I do feel the need to comment that the Eagles will hit a wall without a franchise QB and a top 10 Defense (OK maybe a top 20 Defense). Wins are driven by players, coaches, and luck. Personally, I think we have the coaches, not sure about the players (especially on Defense).

      Chip maximizes the contribution from the players he’s got. But if he does not have top tier talent in key positions, he won’t win the second playoff game nor a SB.

      • Iskar36

        Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying this with any type of belief that Kelly will fail. I am just arguing that while I fully believe he is the right guy for the job (and just as importantly, the best option that was available to coach the team), I do think there is a possibility that he does not succeed, and I think Graziano’s argument for that is fair and reasonable. I disagree with it, but I don’t think it is a post I have any issues with, unlike the Freeman article.

  • ACViking

    Re: Negative v. Positive v. Neutral Impact

    T-Law:

    Joe Kuharich had a negative impact in ’64 — trading Sonny Jurgenson alone puts him in that category.

    Dick Vermeil — despite no improvement in the team’s W-L record — had a hugely positive impact. Ray Rhodes had a positive impact in the Eagles W-L record at least, aided significantly by OC Jon Gruden and some good free agency moves.

    Rich Kotite had a neutral to negative impact. The team’s record remained good. And with the talent on defense, those ’91-’92 Eagles were going to be in just about every game. But in the team’s atmosphere and with key personnel moves like adding QB Pat Ryan and starting rookie FA QB from Baylor Brad Goebel, Kotite hurt the Eagles. Then came free agency and it was over. Kotite gets credit for the Bud Carson move, clearly. But his interpersonal relations . . . a disaster. Especially with Seth Joyner.

    ________________________

    So what about Kelly.

    I project him to be in the Dick Vermeil mold.

    Kelly’s bringing a new attitude to the Eagles. A demanding one, but positive too (I think, at least). He’s pushing his players to find out who fits his scheme. Wheat from chafe. Vermeil did exactly that, too.

    And I don’t care if he ran the single wing . . . if he can develop a Top 10 NFL QB, Kelly will win. That’s the key. Because that’s today’s NFL.

    Interestingly, Vermeil came here after being UCLA’s HC — but only for TWO seasons. He’d spent 4 of the past 5 years as an ass’t coach with the Rams . . . where he spent one season with his future D.C. Marion Campbell.

    And Vermeil, like Kelly, imported an experienced OC and DC from the NFL — not college. (John Idzik and John Mazur.)

    I like Kelly’s chances . . . and I’m prepared to wait.

    • TommyLawlor

      Great perspective as always.

  • sprawl

    I really couldn’t read past the ‘Kelly must patch an offensive line…” comment. He clearly has no idea what he’s talking about with regard to the eagles.

  • ACViking

    Re: Output Requirements

    T-Law:

    When I read national writers — as when I listen to pre-draft projections — I remind myself that these guys cover the NFL — not the Eagles.

    Consequently, it’s the rare bird of a writer who’s actually turning out anything good.

    And with the internet, the need of quantity has in many cases over take quality.
    _________________

    That’s why your site is remarkable. Yes, you focus on the Eagles. And this is an Eagles’ site.

    But you turn out high quality in quantity. Your depth of knowledge and effort at being right make the difference.

    I LOVE THIS PLACE.

    • TheRogerPodacter

      am i the only one that think that with all of the money out there from the NFL, that it would be relatively easy for ESPN, or some other national network like Fox, to hire a handful of guys to focus on one team, or even on all teams in one division? i mean, if jimmyk can do the NFC east, then surely, the “more qualified” journalists can do the same, right?
      nah, lets stick with 1-2 guys to cover all 32 teams. thats just swell.

      • Neil

        I’d think it’d be possible too, but I think what it comes down to is either the management isn’t competent enough at these networks to get higher quality writing or else the management is smarter than us and isn’t going to waste money and effort getting higher quality writing the majority of their customer base wouldn’t be able to appreciate anyway.

        Ultimately, what sets apart writers like Jimmy and Tommy is that they love what they do so much they would do it without getting paid. Even if they could find no audience, they would probably not publish but would continue with their learning and thinking about what they love.

      • Ark87

        The biggest issue is the casual fan (majority of fans/viewers) cant tell when someone is talking garbage or when someone is offering good stuff. So people talking out of their butts don’t get shunned and quality analysis doesn’t get proper recognition, thus any hope of a meritocracy collapses. Ultimately networks end up hiring familiar faces/names and big personalities.

        The truth is a lot of networks do bring in so called experts on a division or reporters who supposedly attended a camp and it’s amazing how often they are completely out of the loop. Did they mingle with the other reporters at all? Did notice it was #9 sharing reps with #7, not #4? Look at Brian Baldinger, total Philly homer, half the time he doesn’t know what’s going on.

        At this point the question is, are they this awful out of incompetence, or are they merely reporting the stories they want to report?

  • SteveH

    Hey, maybe that’s what Jimmy’s new gig is, LG for the Eagles. I’ve always said that Jimmy is the heavy legged knee bender of the Eagles Blogosphere.

    • TommyLawlor

      Accurate description. :)

  • Baloophi

    I don’t think we’re giving Mike Freeman enough credit for his crackerjack journalism. Here are just two of the gems he unearthed in the article:

    “For the first time since 1999, Andy Reid won’t be coaching the Eagles.”

    “All indications are that the team will switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4.”

    Can you say, Pulitzer?

    • TommyLawlor

      I cannot argue with this. If you take out the weak parts, those nuggets do make for a great article.

    • Mac

      Wow truth bomb.

  • Ark87

    I definitely agree that Graz definitely is on the Chip will crash and burn wagon. And even that he doesn’t much like him personally (cheater, really? Did he even read the report, If Chip’s a cheater, then I’m an outlaw for going 5 over the speed limit everyday), but on this one I think it is all perspective.

    It’s hard to explain without going technical….I don’t think Graz was implying that chip would make the team worse and go 3-11 or worse but was more saying that Chip could take some lumps this year, and you may rank him amongst the bottom 16 coaches rather than the top 16 for 2013. This may very well be an improvement over last year, but if he doesn’t put up one of the better coaching performances in the league, he won’t be getting this team to the play-offs (keep in mind the context of all this is that Bill Barnwell gave us the second best odds of all the teams that finished 6-10 or worse to bounce back and make the playoffs.)

    • A_T_G

      Out of curiosity, do you remember who had the best odds?

      • Ark87

        Lions I think

  • Tom from Hungary

    I might be wrong here (since I’m not a native speaker), but I think that the “daily rigors of the sport” phrasing by Freeman is just horrible. The sport is football, if I’m not mistaken, and Kelly has been a succesful football coach/HC/program builder, so I think he is just fine with the daily rigors of the sport. I get what Freeman means (daily rigors of the NFL), and also that being an NFL coach is different from being a college coach, but still, as Kelly likes to say, football is football.

    As for the quarterback competition, Professor Dukes has already told me that Vick is the starter, and now that Freeman kind of reiterated that in his training camp preview, someone should really tell Foles and Barkley not to even bother trying to win the job. In all seriousness, it might be true that the quarterback situation is “incredibly shaky”, but in my opinion we would be “incredibly unlucky” not to have one of the three (or even four, if you count Dixon) QBs perform at a level that makes it possible for the Eagles to improve on last years performance and record.

    • TommyLawlor

      You might be from Hungary, but you’re smarter than some so-called NFL experts. :)

    • A_T_G

      If you hadn’t told us, no one would have guessed you weren’t a native speaker. Well said.

    • Michael Winter Cho

      Pretty elegant writing for a non-native. :)

    • theycallmerob

      gratulálok

  • Weapon Y

    I’m gonna chug the Chip Kelly Kool-Aid. You’d think that cliche about college coaches would be gone with Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll.

    • Jamie Parker

      Except those two are really NFL guys. Pete Carroll was HC of the Jets and Pats before taking over at USC.

      • Weapon Y

        In Carroll’s case, I’ll mostly agree with you. It should be noted that many people explained his success in college and prior failures in the pros by saying his coaching traits only suited him for the college game. Harbaugh was an NFL player, but so was Spurrier. NFL playing experience does have value, but not in the same way coaching does. He was an assistant for the Raiders from 2002-2003, but not a coordinator. The bulk of his coaching experience came from college.

        There are other examples of college coaches who had great success in the NFL. Dick Vermeil is one. He was a special teams coach for the Rams and the head coach of UCLA. Jimmy Johnson had absolutely no experience in the pro game and, much to our chagrin, won 2 Super Bowls with the Cowboys. Barry Switzer didn’t do well at the end, but he did win one Super Bowl ring with no prior pro experience albeit with Johnson’s team. Still, we’ve seen how coaches like Rich Kotite can wreck a Super Bowl-caliber team, so Switzer deserves a little credit.

        The fact is that more NFL head coaches fail than succeed, so it shouldn’t surprise us that most coaches who jump from college to the pros fail. I just think attributing it to their college background isn’t always accurate. Everything I’ve read about Chip suggests he is aware of the differences between the college and pro game. He isn’t going to make the NFL adapt to him. He’s going to adapt to the NFL. Chip could fail, as can all coaches, but it won’t be because of a Spurrier or Sabanesque stubbornness.

  • eagleyankfan

    What was Dan’s and Freeman’s write up on the Eagles leading into 2012? Did they predict how AR would a cancer to the team? Did they predict MV playing like Carol Burnet? If they predicted those two items, I’m on their side.
    3 years is a long time in the nfl? You’re not paying attention or you’re stuck in the 90’s. That’s not the case anymore.
    I only question Chips REAL incentive to coach the Eagles. Was it his own choice or was it because of the sanctions looming? Either way, I’m on board!!! Choo choo! Choo choo!

  • ohitsdom

    As far as Kelly’s adjustment to being a head coach in the NFL coming from college, I would argue that it might free him up in a lot of ways to focus more on football. In college you have a limited staff and have to focus on recruiting. Now he has an entire personel department, as well as a deep and competent staff. I think at Oregon he had to run more of the big picture stuff, whereas here he still has control in most aspects but the majority of his focus is on football and his players. After the season he can meet with the personel department on finalizing the draft board and continue on the work they’ve been doing scouting all season.

  • Ben Hert

    You should have a weekly segment like this called “This week in degenerate NFL wrting…”

    I love these take-downs. Excellent work as always…although at this point, taking down these types of articles almost has a formula thanks to you and Jimmy.

  • Wilbert M.

    Tommy, I think Freeman is a lousy cut and paster, but I don’t have a problem with what Graziano says (this time). It could take time for the team to integrate all Chip’s changes, and there’s always the chance that he can’t relate to the pro athlete. I think Chipper will be fine, but Graziano isn’t out of line for expressing doubts.