A few days have passed since Chip Kelly made his NFL debut with the Philadelphia Eagles against the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football, but all the talk around the league has been about his offense.
Virtually every time someone has mentioned Kelly in his time as a head coach, from his time with the Oregon Ducks even back to his days as an offensive coordinator for New Hampshire, all the talk about Kelly is his offense. What everyone knew about Kelly’s offense is that it’s lightning fast, they’ll run a lot of plays and give you a lot of looks.
What everyone didn’t know is if he could translate it to the NFL.
There have been talks about Chip making a jump to the league for years, with each discussion followed up with a comment about how it wouldn’t work — NFL defenses are too fast and too big, and a whole other list of excuses.
Chip Kelly not only proved that his offense is highly capable of functioning in the NFL, he also entertained a large audience of people who tuned into the game. The Eagles were flat out fun to watch, something that hasn’t been said about that team in quite some time.
Taking a deeper look into the offensive game plan for the Eagles, you saw much of what you saw at Oregon from Kelly. First off, the main staple of the offense is tempo. Kelly likes to run at a high pace the entire time, often featuring packaged plays to help speed things up.
Packaged plays, or combination plays, are plays that combine run and pass options into a play and allow the quarterback to make a quick read based off of what he is seeing at the line of scrimmage. Kelly has made these popular, along with other coaches in the college and pro levels.
You saw a variation of classic Chip Kelly plays: read option, midline option, bubble screens, quick screens, unbalanced lines and a variety of quick hitting pass routes. When ran at a tempo like Kelly requires, it puts incredible stress on a defense to be in position to make plays, and also wears them down very easily.
While Kelly proved his offense can work, personnel plays a large role in what he is doing. Having players like Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson plus athletic linemen like the Eagles first-round draft choice Lane Johnson are vital to this offense.
Having Vick as a dangerous run threat makes the offense click because it brings that added threat to the run game on every shotgun running play, plus the looming threat of play action.
We’re only heading into Week 2 of the NFL season, but Chip Kelly has proved his offense is transcendent in the game of football. Look for the Philadelphia Eagles to be one of the most exciting teams in the league this season.