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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