If the Philadelphia Eagles are preparing to put themselves in position for a playoff run one thing is certain; They must start challenging plays. Since the start of the season, Pat Shurmur is the coach that tells Chip Kelly to throw the red flag. It is obvious that this relationship isn’t working out. Kelly calls his own plays so I have no idea what Shurmur does during the game, but watching the instant replay feed is something he needs to do more often.
Challenging plays is something even experienced coaches can have trouble with, and Kelly seems to be gun shy with throwing the flag. The last few games contained more than one play that could have been reversed for the Eagles’ benefit. Kelly and Shurmur both had excuses as to why they didn’t challenge, and since the games ended up as wins it can be excused.
As we finish the season there can no longer be excuses. Do we really want an important game coming down to a play where Shurmur doesn’t tell Kelly to throw the challenge flag? What if it does cost them the game, a win, or playoff position?
I don’t mind Shurmur’s place as an assistant coach. He knows what he’s doing on that part of the team, but his record as a head coach should make it clear that he can’t have a decision-making role. He ran the Cleveland Browns into mediocrity with an ultra conservative offense. This cautious approach has crept into the Eagles’ challenge system, and Kelly needs to take over before it becomes a critical issue.