Two years ago in Chip Kelly’s first season as Philadelphia Eagles head coach, one word was vastly used to describe him: innovator.
His fast paced, no huddle offense was something that the NFL had hardly seen.
Two years later on September 23, 2015, the term innovator to describe Chip is now followed by a giant question mark as the Eagles have gotten off to a 0-2 start in 2015.
Chip won his power-play against former Eagles general manager, Howie Roseman, in the offseason, as Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie gave Chip total control of the entire roster.
In and out players came and went. All-time leading rusher in Eagles history was thrown out the door, as were Jeremy Maclin, pro-bowl guards Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans, and quarterback Nick Foles.
In came high priced cornerback Byron Maxwell, quarterback Sam Badford, linebacker Kiko Alonso and a pair of running backs including Ryan Matthews and the NFL’s leading rusher last season, DeMarco Murray.
Chip’s theory: creating a culture where players buy into your system will outdo talent.
Not so fast, Chipper.
The Eagles lost week one at the Falcons. The offense was stagnant for most of the game. So I said we should all take a deep breath and move on to beating the Cowboys in the home opener week two.
And as 7:45p.m rolled around on Sunday night, it felt as though the sky was falling.
There are losses that sting and there are losses that linger. There are losses that question this strange obsession and tell us mercifully to get a life. But Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys may have been the worst.
Any way, you could have spent your Sunday afternoon would have been better than watching this disgruntled performance from the Eagles as everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong.
Three hours of having my fingers slammed in a car door? Sign me up.
After watching that performance on Sunday, it simply brings up the question: Is Chip Kelly a false Messiah?
The scheme doesn’t translate effectively into the NFL anymore. Teams know exactly what the Eagles are going to run. Continuous runs out of the shotgun with the inability to adjust and put Bradford under center and run the ball straight up the gut.
Having seven rushing yards in a game is purely unacceptable. Week one was not much better. And this was supposed to be the three-headed monster backfield that was supposed to run all over any team.
So far, that hasn’t been the case. It is time to get back to basics. It’s time to put Bradford under center and pound the ball in between the tackles in an effort to get Murray going.
No more of these sweep plays. No more of this zone-blocking scheme. Pound the ball down the
throats of the defense.
But what are the odds of Chip adjusting his offense to better serve his quarterback and running backs? Slim to none. I will believe it when I see it.
This is what separates the good coaches from the great coaches. The ability to adjust, evolve and change things up. Bill Belichick is great because week-to-week, you never know what the Patriots are going to throw at you.
With all of the film available now, the Eagles offense is easier to pick up than a dropped cell phone.
On Sunday, a 13-0 deficit the Eagles faced against the Cowboys seemed insurmountable. Think about that for a second: a 13-0 deficit to a Chip Kelly coached team seemed insurmountable.
And that is why this week is the biggest week of Chip Kelly’s coaching career.
Traveling to New York to face a 2-0 Jets team that has forced ten turnovers in two games—without Kiko Alonso, Cedric Thornton and probably not Mychal Kendricks—yikes.
Chip has my trust for this week and, if Sunday is more of the same of the team that is 0-2 this season, Chip can take his culture concept and put it in a blender.
Time to throw your huge ego out the window, Chip, because this town needs to win.
At best, Chip could be a brilliant football mind and we are the ones that are all crazy.
Or, he could be a great college coach, with his GM title standing for: grossly miscalculated.