One thing keeps coming up in discussions about this 2013 Philadelphia Eagles football team and it is starting to get on my nerves. As much as the Andy Reid apologists still haunt the bars and airwaves of sports’ talk radio, Chip Kelly is gathering his own crew. Give him time, they say, this year can’t count. He doesn’t have his people. He doesn’t have his quarterback. The excuses grow as the offense continues to struggle. Here’s a newsflash: Year one counts.
After the game on Sunday, Jason Avant said, “There is going to come a time where they have looked at all the film and evaluated every play that you have done and it’s going to give you a breakdown. It’s going to give you a breakdown that says, ‘This percentage of the time, this play is a higher’…they’re going to do all that.” He’s talking about opposing defenses. He’s talking about a coach and a system too easy to be a mystery and about defensive coordinators who have the answer for the next play coming at the line. We’ve already documented Kelly’s penchant for calling a single play multiple times on one drive. Now halfway through the season the word is out and you are seeing the results. No offensive touchdown in eight quarters of football.
Birds 24/7 quoted Kelly yesterday, “I don’t think that people have it figured out,” said Kelly at his day-after press conference. “You can turn the tape on and watch six games of whoever you play that I can tell you what they’re going to do.”
Besides directly contradicting himself in that statement, he reveals some key information. No one is executing on this team and that includes the head coach. This is the week where the fingers start to point at Kelly. His performance the last two games was unacceptable. Reid did not face comments like Avant’s until the 2012 season during his final run there.
Kelly is entering dangerous waters. He needs a win to prove to his team, himself, and the fans that the system works. The schedule only gets harder and the season may end without ever seeing Michael Vick again. The best coaches adjust and change. We will see if Kelly has any magic left in that playbook that is no longer a mystery.