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Is Chip Kelly Going To Be The Eagles' Steve Spurrier?


NoCalMike

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I suppose it would be hard to be as dreadful and as much of a failure as Steve Spurrier was, but it seems like a similar coaching mindset has come to the NFC East.

 

Basically, "my awesome college offense is going to work in the NFL, so there"

 

I remember when Spurrier came here and had that attitude, and it made for a fun looking play every once in awhile and even got some players decent stats (I believe Coles had pretty good stats in that offense his first season), but ultimately his refusal to put in the work to figure out how his offense had to adapt and change for the NFL game did him in.

 

Is Chip Kelly a "we need to keep ticket sales up for the next couple of seasons while we search for the real solution" stop gap measure or is he the real deal?

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That's funny, because I was discussing Chip with someone who thought that because he was so successful in the NCAA, he'd take the NFL by storm. I used Spurrier and Saban as perfect examples of people who were immensely successful in the NCAA (both before their NFL tenures and after) who absolutely bombed in the NFL.

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I sure hope so.

 

I'm racking my brain, trying to recall coaches that were actually successful in college and the pros. Paul Brown is the only one that comes to mind, but I'm sure there are several others I'm forgetting about.

 

Jimmy Johnson.

 

If he's too rigid in his methodology he'll fail.  The NFL being a copy cat league allows for someone who is innovative to have a shot, but there are certain philosophies that don't work in the transition.  One of the things that concerns me is his penchant to go for it on 4th down.  I think that's something that could potentially cause problems for other teams.

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I sure hope so.

 

I'm racking my brain, trying to recall coaches that were actually successful in college and the pros. Paul Brown is the only one that comes to mind, but I'm sure there are several others I'm forgetting about.

Jimmy Johnson, and depending on your definition of success, Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh

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Steve Spurrier was not hungry enough to succeed in the NFL. He was lackadaisical from Day 1, unwilling to accept the nature of the challenge in front of him. He just wanted to see if his system would work in the NFL and when the answer was, "not really -- you still need talent", rather than adopt a realistic and disciplined approach to succeeding in the NFL, he took the easy way out and went back to the college ranks and the slower and less stressful pace he was accustomed.

 

The systems are not why any of these college coaches succeed or fail at this level. I think the real problem is that these coaches aren't as familiar with the pro game and they don't have experience dealing with pro players. If they don't achieve success right away, it's all too easy to take their bruised egos back to the NCAA to heal and draw a nice paycheck for decades to come.

 

So, Chip Kelly as the next Steve Spurrier, I don't know. He's certainly got more to work with than Spurrier. It will all come down to how adaptable and hungry he is. Oh, and he needs a QB. Duh.

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If Beathard had come on as GM as was promised when SOS was hired, things would've turned out differently. No SBs mind you, but we would not have become the lip-flapping embarassment we were. The personnel Cerrato left Spurrier with was terrible, though SOS has to take lots of blame for promoting the LB coach to defensive coordinator.

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I think the distinction I make between guys like Jimmy Johnson/Harbaugh/Carroll and guys like Spurrier/Saban/Chip are that the first group didn't come to the pros thinking they would run their college offense rough shot over the NFL.

 

If you look at the Cowboys offense under Jimmy Johnson it was actually pretty vanilla with Norv as the O-coordinator, it was just that the talent level was so incredibly high teams couldn't stop what they knew was coming.  Harbaugh's 49ers went through a decade of being built with 1st rounders leading up to his hiring.  The talent was already in place, he was able to design an offense around Alex Smith limiting mistakes and taking what the defense gave 'em.  Carroll's Seahawks, their offense is nothing special, maybe it would have been better with Harvin, but their defense is what carries that team.

 

Spurrier was in the NFL to run his college system or get fired trying. When it was apparent that changes would have to be made, and that he would have to take the time required to sit down and learn how to adapt, he wanted no part of it, even mocking other coaches for putting in long hours in the office (Jim Haslett I believe as the HC of the Saints at the time). Saban was gone barely after the ink dried on his contract.

 

Anytime a hot shot (not meaning to be derogatory there) college coach with a slick offense is hired straight up to come be a head coach my red flags do go up a little bit about whether they are coming to the NFL to win or simply get paid to experiment, and how they will react when controversy hits.  Will they accept the fact that it may take 2-3 seasons to not only get the personnel needed but also for them to figure out what will and won't work about that system in the NFL.

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I think it is going to be interesting - When I was watching the Panthers game last night the Eagles were obviously trying to win (remember Okinawa) and the Panthers looked - well like they were mailing it in ... Cam Newton specifically looked like he couldn't give a **** ..

 

One thing I did notice - I think he is going to look good and people will be praising him out the gate because his simplified offense looks easy to pick up . But mid season - even if he adds complex wrinkles etc his players are going to be worn out physically and mentally . If they get as many snaps as they are thinking they will .

 

I mean I know the Patriots use aspects of his blur offense but I think Chip is going to push it that much further . Given the NFL season is longer and the rosters are not as deep I really do think he is going to run into problems . In the middle of the Panthers game for example they still had some starters in against fresh second team players for the Cats and the offensive line was just getting swamped.

 

Given the things I have seen and heard so far I really do believe that Kelly thinks his way is going to work in the NFL - he might be right but I think there are going to be issues . What is going to be strong for them is their special teams as they did look very strong

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People oft forget that Tom Coughlin was the HC at Boston College before he took the gig in Jacksonville.

 

But yeah it's rare to see a college coach have immediate or any success in the NFL. Off the top of my head I can list Jimmy Johnson, Coughlin, Harbaugh and Paul brown. I'm not sure if Pete Carroll counts in this category; he went from the pros to college then back to the pros. IMO the jury is still out on Greg Schiano.

 

How about a list of failures:

Steve Spurrier

Bobby Petrino

Nick Saban

Dennis Erickson

Lou Holtz

Mike Riley

Butch Davis

Lane Kiffin

 

So history isn't on Chip's side but a part of me believes he can be successful with the right personnel. I'm going to withhold judgment until I see more.

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Jimmy Johnson.

 

If he's too rigid in his methodology he'll fail.  The NFL being a copy cat league allows for someone who is innovative to have a shot, but there are certain philosophies that don't work in the transition.  One of the things that concerns me is his penchant to go for it on 4th down.  I think that's something that could potentially cause problems for other teams.

 

 

Jimmy Johnson, and depending on your definition of success, Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh

Ah, right! Thank you both. I knew I was forgetting someone.

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I sorta think that Kelly is going to work a little harder than Spurrier. 

 

Whether that translates to wins, we'll see.

 

I don't think that anybody is really trying to game plan for his offense, though. Once that starts, we'll see.  

 

But, don't forget, the 'Skins have incorporated components of his offense, and it's hard to defend. 

 

I think a lot of it is wait and see.  My prediction is that the offense will be pretty effective, but the defense is going to be rather leaky.  Which is going to lead to some interesting games for them. 

 

The whole key for them, though, is not going 3-out, ever.  Because if they do, they're going to be in a world of hurt.  

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Kelly is a smart guy. He also lives for football.

 

I don't think he will be the embarrassment that Spurrier was. He might not have Harbaugh like success though. There are adjustments and tweaks he must make to his speed offense to account for the NFL game.

 

But the guy will work at it. He isn't going to be playing golf at 4 PM or working on his putting game with the kickers during practice

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I think Chip will bring some new concepts and flash. But it's still football. We keep hearing about how fast paced the O is. And so while I believe the skilled position players will be in top shape. You still gotta deal w/ 300+ lb OL. It's not college ball. Vick took alot of flack last season for getting injured. Yet everyone knew the OL was incompetent. Their star lineman was out the bulk of last season after missing a chunk of the previous season. Peters is a 300lb road grader. Fast break offense is not his strong suit.

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Yeah, everytime they talk about the Eagles on the preseason games, they act like they are this unstoppable force that no team will be able to deal with.  That Wood Chipper Kelly is the smartest coach ever and no one could possible keep up with his offense.  Pul-lease, we've heard this crap before. 

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I think Chip may ultimately be successful, but only if he adjusts his offense and style to fit the realities of the NFL.  As others have mentioned, if you are too rigid in this league, it will eat you alive.  The blur offense has its positives (prevents D from getting the right personnel on the field; makes the D hesitate; makes it harder to play aggressively) but I think it's negatives will outweigh the positives at this level.  As others have mentioned, the O-line will suffer--when that happens, watch out.  False starts, holding calls, etc., I think we can expect to see a lot of that early on.  Miscommunication as well--mistakes happen more frequently when you move more quickly.  In college, if you have the talent, you can overcome almost all of these issues.  In the NFL, I remain very skeptical.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Kelly has way more talent than Spurrier on offense.  Their OL is much better than the Skins OL was.  Skins interior 3 his first year was laughable.  Plus they had Trung Canidate his second year and Ramsey plus 50/50 as his best receiver his first year.  All of the real talent was on the defense and Marvin Lewis only lasted a year.  He's starting to stack the NFL with talent from SC.

 

The only place Spurrier ever had a losing record was here.  Enough said.  I think he left because his wife hated it and the Skins had no real GM.  He has a very tight family unbeknownst to many.

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