2013 was great. What’s next?
A good team can win 10 games. It is harder to win 12 or 13 games. That requires you to take your game up a notch. Good isn’t good enough to win like that. You need to be excellent. Taking that step from being a good team to an excellent team is tough. Some squads can’t do that. They might lack the talent or the coaching or the discipline. The Vikings and Washington each won 10 games in 2012. Both teams flopped this season. The Lions went 10-6 in 2011. With Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson, they seemed to be a team on the rise. Instead, they fell apart each of the last two years and finished with losing records.
Winning isn’t easy, but going from good to great is a serious challenge. The more games you win, the closer you are to your peak. Improving becomes increasingly difficult because you start talking about trying to perfect things. Think of shooting free throws. It is easier to get someone to improve from a 50-percent shooter to a 70-percent shooter than it is going from 70 percent to 90 percent.
Chip Kelly is the right guy to lead the Eagles through this situation. His teams at Oregon got progressively better. And the column will explain how Kelly’s style of coaching should help the team to continually improve.
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Somehow I missed a really good article on Kelly from back in September. Frank Fitzpatrick wrote about how Kelly became fascinated by stats, strategy and looking at sports in a different way. You get to find out about Kelly’s year at Johns Hopkins, where he was the Defensive Coordinator.
“The one thing that struck me most about Chip was that he was a very self-confident guy,” Babb recalled. “He wasn’t egotistic, but he was convinced of his abilities to make decisions. He would listen, but unless you convinced him you were right, he knew how he was going to do it.”
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Posted some pro and college football notes. You can see my title game picks and get thoughts on some coaching moves.