Philadelphia Eagles: Is Chip Kelly's Offense Too Simple?

By Matt Shaner
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Chip Kelly‘s offense has found a way into the spotlight this week as the Philadelphia Eagles head into an important game against the New York Giants.

After wins against a pair of hapless teams, the Dallas Cowboys locked down the offense behind the horrid performance of Nick Foles at the helm. It looked like Kelly had no answers during the game, the first complete failure of his system this season. Ever since the template was discovered — man coverage with a safety helping over DeSean Jackson — Kelly has seemed to be at a loss for a fix.

Great coaches find ways to adjust. It is time for Kelly to decide if he is a college coach or really dedicated to the pro game. Thankfully, we haven’t seen any more “swinging gate” two-point conversation attempts. We have seen a few questionable decisions (sending Alex Henery out for a 60-yard field goal last week) and he will have these in his first season. Ever since Week 1, though, we haven’t seen the true Kelly system. This can be chalked up to two things.

First, he does not have the personnel to run his offense. He inherited Andy Reid‘s group and with limited free agent and draft help, he can only field the players he has. Riley Cooper is not Kelly’s ideal no. 2 receiver, and his franchise quarterback is not on this roster at the moment.

Secondly, his strategy is too simplistic for the pro game. In a radio interview  on 97.5 The Fanatic this week, Merril Hoge said Kelly’s offense is too vanilla and that he is not doing enough to create matchups and put his guys in a good spot to win.

We’ve spent weeks hearing Kelly and his players talk about how it is all numbers and how they just read the line and react.  What we haven’t seen in games is the matchup-setting that Hoge mentioned. Kelly doesn’t adjust. He doesn’t isolate weak defenders and call in plays to exploit that weakness. Opposing teams do it to the Eagles’ secondary every game, attacking the linebackers and safeties.

Kelly will soon have to look in the mirror and decide what he wants from his pro career, and if it is worth sticking to his read option routes, and we will see how much time he has to make it happen before Jeffrey Lurie pulls the plug and moves on again.

Matt Shaner is a Philadelphia Eagles writer for Follow him on Twitter @MDShanersports, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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