Crazy Good, Crazy Stupid, or Living in Fantasy Land?
As unforgiving as Philly fans are, this had better work
Chip Kelly definitely has polarized the Oregon Eagles / Philadelphia Ducks fans. Based on the public sentiment, either fans hate what Kelly is doing or love it, but no matter what, they are still confused as to the official plan. Even with the Eagles getting DeMarco Murray, they are still left with a good number of holes on the defense (cornerback and safety) and a top wide receiver. Ultimately, it seems that Kelly has sold out, even more than last year, to plan on outscoring teams to win games. Why else would he add Murray and Ryan Mathews to a backfield that already has Darren Sproles?
Sadly, we will not get an answer from Kelly, because he lost all creditability during his press conference on Wednesday. Kelly proved that even after making some outrageous moves, you can still lose a press conference. For those who don’t know how it happened, it primarily stems from the following comments:
- Kelly doesn’t know how he got all this personnel power and it was the owner’s decision (Jeffrey Lurie)
- He has been offered a 1st Round pick for Sam Bradford (mentioned this multiple times)
- The Eagles have not been pursuing a trade for Marcus Mariota
Now, I am not calling Chip Kelly a liar, but I do think he is the President of Fantasy Land. Where do I start?
Kelly knows full well where his power came from. He and Tom Gamble tried to make a play and have Howie Roseman fired. Unfortunately, Lurie promoted Roseman, fired Gamble and gave Kelly control over the roster, on the terms that he would also hire a personnel guy. Kelly should consider himself lucky, considering most coaches who miss the playoffs and try to remove a general manager, usually does not get to keep his job. However, Lurie is so fond of Kelly that he gave Kelly the chance to mold the Eagles as he envisioned.
If the Eagles have been offered a 1st round draft pick for Sam Bradford, then Jay Cutler is worth three 1st rounders! Kelly has to be living on an alternative universe to think that a quarterback who has played as many full seasons as he has ACL tears, two, would be worth a 1st round pick. One could guess that Kelly is trying to inflate Bradford’s value to see if he can package the 20th pick with Bradford to move up and grab Marcus Mariota. However, with DeMarco Murray signing to play with his best friend, odds are that Kelly and Bradford are stuck together for the next few years.
Speaking of Mariota, apparently, all of the media outlets in New York and across the country got their information wrong when it was leaked that the Jets and Eagles were working on a deal to allow Philadelphia to move up to the 6th spot and ideally grab Mariota. Marcus Mariota is the End Game for Chip Kelly. If Kelly adds Mariota, his offense should be unstoppable (in his mind). He would have a quarterback who could throw and run, understand the concepts and spacing, and come at an extremely cheap price for 4 years (due to his rookie contract). If Kelly cannot get Mariota, all people will talk about is what could have been for the Eagles’ offense. Saying that Kelly has not been working ways to obtain a higher draft pick to get Mariota is just a pure joke.
Finally, as highlighted in my 3PS Mag article, the Eagles defense spent 80 more minutes on the field than the average NFL defense. This is what led to fatigue towards the end of games and also the end of the season. Players routinely complained about the harsh practices contributing to their fatigue as well (see Cary Williams). By not addressing this side of the ball heavily in free agency, Kelly is either gambling that a real defense is not needed to win or will have an amazing draft to fill the holes. While scoring in bunches may get you to the playoffs, it will not beat teams like Seattle and Green Bay, who can either hold the ball and score or match you touchdown for touchdown.
All I can confirm is that Kelly is just getting started and you can just feel more craziness coming out of Philadelphia. By February of 2016, Chip Kelly will either be winning a championship or coaching a college team.