Eagles Wake-Up Call: Is Chip Taking On Too Much?


NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings

MOBILE, Ala. — Today’s question comes from reader Cliff, via e-mail.

Between re-tooling the offense, fixing Nick Foles, scouting for the draft, free agent acquisitions, restructuring current roster and contracts, hiring new assistants and finding a director of player personnel (good lord that’s a full plate, did i miss anything?), how can we tell if and when Chip Kelly is overwhelmed? Do you think he’s taking on too much?

My scary answer: Can’t and too late.

It’s a great question and really one of the emerging story lines of the offseason.

I remember when Andy Reid moved on to Kansas City, there was a lot of talk about how he was happy to be back focusing on football, while letting others handle the personnel stuff.

I like Reid, but that was always a misleading narrative. It suggested that Jeffrey Lurie forced Reid to take on all these responsibilities, when in reality, Reid demanded them.

NFL head coaches are by their very nature control freaks. And Kelly has essentially made the same demands Reid made. He wanted Howie Roseman out, and he wanted full control of the personnel department, so that’s what Lurie gave him.

But like Cliff mentioned, that’s a lot on Kelly’s plate. The “re-tooling the offense” thing looms large. I believe that Kelly is a a really smart offensive mind, but to just blame last year’s performance on injuries and poor execution is missing the point. Kelly needs to take a closer look at his scheme and tweak it to give the Eagles their best opportunity at rebounding in 2015.

By all accounts, Kelly is a flat-out football junkie. He’s not married. He has no kids. He doesn’t seem to have any other hobbies. He watches football, he talks about football, he lives it 24/7 (pun intended).

The only way we’ll be able to tell he’s overwhelmed and has taken on too much is if his job performance suffers in specific areas. The true self-scouting will be Kelly figuring out what he’s good at and what he’s not good at and finding help for the latter.

There are always plenty of variables to be weighed with these things, but the results will provide a good baseline for how Kelly is handling his responsibilities.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Senior Bowl buzz: Chip not chatty, the interview process and the sweetest ride in Mobile.

What we’re watching this week.

Did Nick Foles miss Bill Lazor last year?

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Bob Ford of the Inquirer on Kelly and the draft:

What we don’t know is significantly more, including whether Kelly is brash enough, in his first draft as all-powerful warlord, to ignore a great deal of sound advice and careful scouting. If he tosses away a fistful of picks in order to land one player, is he telling the scouting and personnel departments that he thinks their recommendations don’t improve the grab-bag nature of the draft? Or, if Kelly really believes what he says, does he admit that having more picks rather than fewer improves one’s odds of hitting the lottery?

It might be that as much as Kelly likes Mariota – and his praise has been over-the-top effusive – that doesn’t mean Kelly thinks having a read-option quarterback is a good long-term idea given the physical mayhem of the NFL.

What Geoff Mosher is hearing about the search for a personnel exec:

COMING UP

We’ve got a Marcus Smith II story and more.