Seven is not a large number. In a season with sixteen games, seven losses can often leave the door open for a playoff appearance. The Philadelphia Eagles lost almost twice that number last season. Chip Kelly, in his time coaching at Oregon, put up seven total losses. There is a chance he could top that number this season and he must learn from every loss if he is to be a success.
The best teams in the league make adjustments. They have a system they follow and, as games progress, they change patterns on offense and defense. Jim Johnson was a master at the halftime adjustment. He would watch the first two quarters, go in the locker room and come out with a concrete stop to whatever the offense was doing. Andy Reid was no fan of adjustments, sticking with his pass-heavy offense no matter the situation or opponent.
The outside element to factor in this situation is the Eagles’ fan base. At the moment, Kelly sits at the top of the sports pyramid in the city. The Eagles are the passion of Philly and Lincoln Financial Field will be electric for the home opener. When Kelly gets his first loss, he will need to show he can make adjustments. He will need to read and react to the game tape, equipping the team for success the next week. This first season, he must not lose the locker room and that is always the danger with bringing a new system into the league.
On Birds 24/7, Kelly states:
“It’s a competition every single day, so I don’t think that way, that ‘Hey, I’m not used to losing.’ We’ve got the utmost respect for whoever we’re gonna compete against. I know it’s extremely difficult to win in this league. You just look at everybody’s record over the history of the game. It is a different game from that standpoint. But that’s just part of it. That’s the challenge. You look at it and kind of embrace it. You’re excited about it. Every single Sunday, you better bring your A game or you’re going to be in trouble.”
The love of the fans is Kelly’s for the taking. If he can make adjustments and come back strong after a loss, he will go far with the team and the league. He will build the foundation needed for long-term success.