Time can often tell the story of a professional football team. Coaches and players come and go, passing through the prime of their abilities. Andy Reid spent 14 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, was the longest tenured coach at the time of his dismissal and guided the team through a season of success that landed four points short of the Super Bowl title. Now that Chip Kelly is the new sheriff in town, comparisons will be made as fans watch this season progress. One thing is certain; Kelly will put more wins up than Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs this season.
Many thought Reid would jump on the San Diego Chargers’ job as he is a southern California native and would spend his offseasons there. It was surprising to see him take the helm of the Chiefs, a team with one winning season in the past six years. He has picked up his quarterback in Alex Smith and will be without his long time assistant Marty Mornhinweg, having Doug Pederson as offensive coordinator. Hopefully Pederson can coach better than he can play quarterback or else they are in for a long season. Reid has some valuable skill players in Dwayne Bowe and Jamal Charles, but Smith has yet to prove his ability to be clutch in valuable situations. Eagle fans know so well how that turns out after years of Donovan McNabb being on the team. The Chiefs have talented players on the defensive side of the ball like Eric Berry and Tamba Hali, but if the offense has scoring issues, the defense can only do so much. The Chiefs are a year removed from a 2-14 record and rebuilding will take time.
Reid and Kelly are in similar positions with a huge intangible. We know Kelly is in the process of assembling his roster and implementing his system. Reid is a veteran coach. Kelly is new. They both must convince their rosters to follow their systems. The players must buy in. Here, Kelly’s newness is an advantage. The book is out on Reid and, despite his new team; he will not totally change his stripes. Opponents will need to adjust to Kelly. The coach to win his roster will win the most games and while neither team may break the playoffs this year, the road is much shorter for the Eagles. Skill players like DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin are primed for a big year and should thrive under this offense. When the team gels under Kelly, he will be able to surpass Reid’s wins even if it is with an 8-8 record.