The news broke earlier today that the Philadelphia Eagles finally found their new head coach in former Oregon Ducks coach Chip Kelly. Yes, the same Chip Kelly who said just a few days ago that he was not interested in the job and was going to remain the head coach of the Ducks. This will not be an article about whether or not I think Kelly is the right man for the job, but I will get into that at a later time when I’ve had some more time to really dig into it.
Two things immediately came to my mind when I learned the Eagles agreed to terms with Kelly. The first of those things was “expletive expletive expletive expletive, that means Michael Vick is going to be the quarterback again next year.” Vick has many of the attributes that could make him successful in a Kelly-style offense. What he doesn’t have, however, could make this move crash and burn.
Vick is a fragile, 32 year old quarterback with clearly declining skills that is coming off of a major concussion. Oh yeah, he’s only played one full 16 game season in his entire career, too. Sounds like a recipe for success, right? For all of the athletic ability Vick possesses, he cannot read defenses and will not be able to take as many hits as the signal-caller in Kelly’s offense must take.
So, if Vick isn’t the answer, who is? I don’t think Nick Foles is athletic enough to run Kelly’s offense, so the team will likely have to look to the draft. The only two feasible options there are West Virginia’s Geno Smith and Florida State’s E.J. Manuel. Both of these QB’s certainly have potential, but there is a great deal of risk associated with them. Philly isn’t a town that takes losing well, and regardless of the current situation the team faces, the fans and organization will want some semblance of success in 2013. I don’t think either of these two rookies will provide that for at least a few years, and by then Kelly could be axed. The leash is short for head coaches in the NFL; they are expected to win early and often.
The next question that came to mind was what caused Kelly’s change of heart? The rumor mill has been running rampant as of late with suspicions that the Oregon football program is going to be slammed with sanctions by the NCAA. Could Kelly be pulling a Pete Carroll and getting out of Dodge just before the smelly stuff hits the fan? Stranger things have happened. The fact is that the NCAA Committee on Infractions will be meeting soon to discuss the Oregon program and their motion for a summary disposition was denied. That’s never a good sign.
So, when all is said and done, whatever the reason behind the decision, the Eagles have a new head coach and the Ducks are looking for one. We will find out soon enough what the Birds plan to do at quarterback. Philly fans can take solace in the fact that it can’t get that much worse than the 4-12 season they witnessed in horror in 2012.