Huff Breaks Down Chip Kelly’s Moves
The offense has been completely re-shaped in Chip Kelly‘s two-plus years at the controls.
Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are out (though the intent was to hold onto Maclin). Guys like Sam Bradford, DeMarco Murray, Ryan Matthews and Miles Austin were shipped in this offseason, adding to a growing stable of players that have been personally approved by Kelly.
What separates “Kelly guys” from those that he has chosen to move on from? What is the method driving these moves? We asked the opinion of Josh Huff, who has been inside Kelly’s operation both at the college and pro levels and has an idea for what the head coach values.
“Coach Kelly, he is a very decisive guy. He knows what he wants and when he knows he wants something, he will go after it,” said Huff. “He doesn’t care if you’re a five-time Pro Bowler or an All-Pro guy, if you don’t fit his [vision] he’s going to replace you, and that’s been evident for the past two seasons. He hasn’t shied from any opportunity to become better, he hasn’t shied away from any criticism from the outsiders — and quite frankly, he doesn’t really care about the outsiders. He cares about what he thinks. And what he thinks is that if he gets the players that he wants and gets the players that buy into his philosophy, those are the guys he is going to run with and those are the guys he can trust to go to battle with.”
Huff offered his insight into some of the key decisions from over the last two years.
“I didn’t have the chance to be around D-Jack but from what I heard he was a good guy. The season that they let him go, they said he was a really hard worker around the facility, he did the things that he was supposed to do. And of course, D-Jack is an exceptional, exceptional football player, very talented. But if Chip doesn’t like…If you rub Chip the wrong way, he’s going to take it as you’re not buying into the philosophy that he is trying to teach.”
“I was blessed enough to be around LeSean. He’s a great guy, hard worker. But his running style didn’t fit what Chip is looking for I’m assuming. He was more of an east-west guy, shake guys and stuff like that. But with the zone system you need a one-cut guy and get upfield. With the talent LeSean has, without a question he has the talent to play in this offense, but with Chip in mind he needs a one-cut back to get upfield in a zone system because the holes close fast.”
Nick Foles/Sam Bradford trade
“I’ve watched Sam ever since I was a young guy growing up. When he was in Oklahoma I was watching him and he was a really good quarterback at Oklahoma and it’s just unfortunate since he’s gotten in the league that he’s been devastated with two knee injuries and still having shoulder problems from the college injuries he’s had. But overall I think he’s an exceptional athlete at the quarterback position. He’s very accurate and I feel like he’s a very strong leader. I’ve talked with him a couple times since I’ve been back and I love what he’s about. He’s a team guy and he just wants to win. And I believe once he gets to be 100 percent he’ll be able to lead this team.”
Do you think Foles was just not a fit for the system?
“Nick was an exceptional quarterback as well, strong arm, but I just feel like he wasn’t as mobile as Chip would’ve liked. Because Chip likes to use his quarterbacks a lot when it comes to play-action and stuff like that. I just don’t think Nick was mobile enough to be what Chip was looking for.”
Do you think Bradford is more mobile in that way?
“Yeah, I believe so.”
Will Kelly’s philosophies hold up on the pro level?
“I believe so. The two years he’s been here he has been 20-12. I feel like that is a pretty good record for your first two years in the league. He hasn’t had his own roster on the field yet. So I feel like once he gets his own roster on the field, that’s really when you’re going to see the Eagles start evolving and becoming what the inside of the organization feels we can be, and that’s title contenders.”