Weekend Reading: Are NFL Coaches Down On Chip Kelly?

A few links for you this weekend.

Mike Freeman put together an Eagles training camp preview. In it, he says that the majority of NFL coaches are of the opinion that Chip Kelly won’t make it on this level.

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.

Tough to say how many coaches Freeman talked to formulate that opinion. I’m sure there are some that believe Kelly will not succeed. I’ve talked to several who think he will be dynamite. Nobody knows for sure.

Freeman puts Clay Harbor and Jason Avant on the bubble, and lists Isaac Sopoaga as an “unheard-of guy to watch.” More from the preview:

Kelly does inherit a team with talent. The cupboard, despite Philadelphia’s dismal record last year, is not bare. LeSean McCoy missed four games last year but still had 1,213 total yards and five scores. What Kelly will have to do is patch an offensive line that was constantly injured last season. 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.

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.

If Nick Foles or Barkley wins the starting job, is Vick’s roster spot safe? Dan Graziano offers his thoughts:

I think they could certainly afford to carry him as a $3.5 million backup quarterback (since they’re well under the cap and in this scenario they’d be paying their starting quarterback almost nothing). I just don’t think he profiles well as a backup. If he loses the job, it’s going to be because he didn’t demonstrate sufficient reliability as a decision-maker and/or protector of the football. That’s not the kind of guy you keep as a backup. I also don’t see Vick buying into the idea of being a backup, which means it’s tough to see him embracing the role of mentor to Foles/Barkley or helpful contributing voice in the meeting room. I could certainly be wrong about any or all of that, but my educated guess is that if Vick’s not the starter, he’s not on the team.

JameyEisenberg of CBS Sports looks at the Eagles’ offense from a fantasy perspective:

It’s all about Chip Kelly heading into training camp and what his offense will look like. The key is who the quarterback will be, as Michael Vick and Nick Foles split snaps during offseason workouts. Kelly should just name Vick the starter now and avoid any headaches. And Vick shapes up as a No. 2 Fantasy option with a late-round pick because, repeat it with me, if he stays healthy he should post quality stats. …Jeremy Maclin is in a contract year. Look for him to play big compared to his teammate DeSean Jackson, who tried to avoid injury in his contract season in 2011. … We hope James Casey (knee) is healthy for training camp because he could be a sleeper tight end this year.

Eisenberg has Vick as the 14th best option at quarterback.  He ranks McCoy seventh among running backs. As for the wide receivers, Maclin is ranked 31st and Jackson 36th.

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  • MediaMike

    Wow a lot here:
    1) These other coaches must not be watching on what Kelly instructed New England. Kelly already knows how to run an NFL team AND implement his system by working with the true “Gold Standard” NFL franchise. Maybe these anti-Kelly comments came, AGAIN, from jilted Cleveland.
    2) Mike Freeman speaks truth. Jason, wave my dumb hands in the air, Avant at his salary level is a prime candidate for getting blasted off of the roster. He’s not a starter, not as good as Benn and Cooper on special teams, and have I mentioned that he has a really annoying celebration.
    3) Dan G, weak writing skills and all, is correct that backup Vick = cut Vick. His infantile demands to be handed the starting job without winning it are already showing that he’s not going to be a good backup once he loses the job competition via slow reads, poor decisions, and the usual litany of sacks and turnovers. I’m targeting pre-season game #2 and his last on our roster.

    • GEagle

      I hate reports like “NFL coaches down on Kelly”…WHICH NFl Coaches are down on Kelly? if you can’t attach your name to a criticism, then it means NOTHING…would love to know who these skeptical coaches are so Chip can write down names and Hang 50 on them when we play them
      Now I don’t know how much of this has to do with their friendship, but Dick Vermiel absolutely Rants and Raves about Chip. He couldn’t possibly be any more complementary of ChIp.
      Isaac Sopo isn’t exactly unheard of but I always say that he will be more valuable to our defense then most people seem to think.

      Vick will demand a trade or release when he loses the job because he thinks he is a starter…but he is going to end up regretting leaving the Eagles because he won’t find a starting Job, and he won’t make as much as the Eagles were paying him

      • MediaMike

        The NFL coaches “down” on Kelly must be Choad in Cleveland.

      • borntosuffer

        Yea, which media idiot was it that said no one wants to work for Howie – right before we got Chip? We also ended up getting Gamble. I suppose if Freeman got two coaches to say Chip won’t be successful, it supports the headline but still doesn’t really mean much of anything.

        • MediaMike

          That would be d-bag extraordinaire Jeff McLane. He was busy writing down notes spoken from Joe Banner directly.

  • JettMartinez

    And at one time NFL coaches thought the forward pass was a gimmick. They’re generally not a trend setting group open to change. I have no idea if Kelly will do well or not. Guess what, neither does anyone else.

    • MediaMike

      The things Kelly needs to really do (no huddle, play fast, run the ball a lot) aren’t gimmicks because New England, and a lot of other teams, already do them.
      The gimmick aspect is running with your QB often. That is a death sentence and will son be out of the league.

      • theycallmerob

        C’mon mike, you’re perpetuating the foolishness we get from the national media; Kelly’s scheme is not built around running the QB. It is not a true read-option. Go look at his oregon stats. The threat of running is not the same. Do you really think he would get a job at this level telling Lurie at the interview, “listen- I’m gonna make Vick the starter, and ride his legs to the super bowl”?

        • MediaMike

          Easy Rob. I’m not saying Kelly will do that at all. I’m just saying to Jeff that Kelly had better not do that. I’m expecting New England South.

  • eaglepete

    James Casey as a sleeper TE in fantasy is about the worst fantasy advice I think Ive ever read, esp on a team that may play 3 TEs quite often, just dumb.

  • hokieduck

    What these coaches seem to forget is that the pace of the blur offense dictates that there is literally no time to change personnel on the defensive side of the ball. Within a few quarters (or less), the defenders routinely are gasping for breath on the line (according to the offensive linemen for Oregon who were interviewed). Chip’s offense is built for the fourth quarter. If defenders are exhausted in the first half… they just seem to not “batter” quite so hard.

  • MAC

    It’s almost impossible to run 80-100 offensive plays a game. The article says the Patriots ran 92 plays once. Otherwise they averaged 74.4 plays a game. By the way this was the all time NFL record. If Kelly runs 80-100 on average we will have 70% of our offense on IR or out most games from week 7 or 8 on, It’s just not something that is done in the NFL.

    In college Kelly could do that bc first of all he had over like 85 players in the program and in the NFL you have a 53 man roster. Also NFL is a much more vicious game then college football. All the players are bigger, faster, & stronger.Look at the increase in injuries over last 5-7 yrs. Especially concusions bc of the speed and size of today’s players. With the training availability and just all the new science’s that help build these athlete’s it’s just become so much more violent. It simply is not a good idea in the NFL to run that many plays. I just think Kelly wants to run a fast paced offense and probably will average in top 2 or 3 offensive plays per game. Now remember New England has a guy named Tom Brady to keep drives alive to run more plays. We don’t have a QB that is even half as efficient as Brady. I am not hating on Kelly or his system at all. Just explaining why it won’t happen.