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Chip Kelly is the NFL's most insightful offensive coach: NFL Unfiltered Week 10

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In a copycat league devoid of innovation, Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach Chip Kelly stands out as far and away the most insightful offensive coach in the NFL.  

He is the lone star in a weekly galaxy of scoring darkness.    

There is no other way to explain the Eagles’ ability to move the football and score, despite the use of three of the most nondescript quarterbacks in the league.  Photo: Oregonlive.com

Sean Payton?  Sure, he looks the part, and he does have a Super Bowl ring. But quarterback Drew Brees is on his way to the Hall of Fame.  And far too often, Payton falls in love with the forward pass.  Moreover, he is still the guy who once had his play-calling duties stripped by former New York Giants’ coach Jim Fassel.    

If Kelly were an offensive-coordinator, can you imagine any coach taking away his ability to call plays?  

New England’s Bill Belichick is another obvious choice when looking for today’s innovators.  But he has not won since Spygate, which was over 10 years ago.  Plus, his genius lies in his ability to make tough decisions, design good defensive schemes and acquire talent.  Besides, Belichick has coached some of the great players of his of era.  

In looking at the Eagles’ offense, how many great players do you see?  

LeSean McCoy is one, and Jason Kelce deserves mention, but everyone agrees the quarterback is the most important position on the field.  Nevertheless, Kelly is proving his design is far more important than his talent.   

Consider, over 26 professional games (including playoffs), Kelly has designed plays for Michael Vick, Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez.    

In each instance, Kelly dealt with varying strengths and weaknesses. Vick, the most athletically gifted, but shortest of the three. Foles, a venerable statue with modest arm strength, and now Sanchez, who is athletic, but years of New York ineptitude make him a different player from five years ago.

ESPN pundit and former journeyman quarterback Trent Dilfer says Kelly’s offense is quite possibly the most “quarterback-friendly” he has ever seen.  At this stage, who could argue?

Even so, Kelly’s offensive brilliance does not guarantee a Super Bowl Championship. There is still the matter of his sizable ego, which may or may not prevent him from receiving the necessary counsel on certain NFL matters.  It also might make him believe Aaron Rodgers-like talent at quarterback is unnecessary.  More importantly, he is still hamstrung by the Eagles’ front office, where a proven talent evaluator is missing.  

Furthermore, Kelly’s attitude toward defense is similar to New York head coach Rex Ryan’s mindset in regards to offense.  He seems satisfied, as long as defensive-coordinator Billy Davis holds his own and does not lose games for him.  

In my way of thinking, an NFL head coach needs a much broader view.  

And of course, there is still the little matter of his Eagles getting stymied in the playoffs by a mediocre New Orleans Saints defense at home.  Consequently, there isn’t enough evidence to suggest Kelly’s style is a surefire way to win a title.  

But Kelly makes mid-level quarterbacks look like All-Pros, so when comes to offensive innovation, he has no peer.  

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THINGS THE PUNDITS CAN’T OR WON’T SAY: Week 10

-It is not top-secret.  If you see bad special teams from certain squads, they aren’t putting enough effort into them.  

-Unless you think Riley Cooper, Jeremy Maclin, Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz are this generation’s Jerry Rice, John Taylor and Brent Jones, Kelly’s scheme is more than just quarterback-centric.  

-Sanchez’s arm is stronger than Nick Foles’ arm, but not by much.  Let’s not go overboard on Sanchez’s ability to spin it, as they say.  

-Pay attention Richard Sherman. That little voice in your stomach is telling you teams aren’t afraid of you.  You’re making plays, but so are the receivers you defend. Just like every other good cornerback in the NFL.  

-It is amazing how many picks Drew Brees throws as a result of his height.  When it works (and it does more often than not) the experts call it uncanny anticipation.  It looks like guessing to me.  Albeit, an educated guess.  

-Credit to John Lynch of FOX during the broadcast of the Saints/49ers game. He made a point to call out Sean Payton for butchering the clock in the last two minutes of the first half.  Absolutely brutal clock management by one of the game’s best coaches and Lynch called him on it. There isn’t nearly enough of that from color commentators.  Nice job!

-Enough noise about the defense stacking the box with extra defenders. It’s lazy and clichéd analysis. It doesn’t matter how many defenders are in the so-called box. What matters is how many good defenders are in the box. Teams successfully run against eight and nine man defensive fronts all the time. 

-Why do head coaches insist on giving placekickers two chances to make one kick?  Tampa Bay head coach Lovie Smith asked for a timeout moments before the snap. Naturally, Falcons’ kicker Matt Bryant missed the pretend boot, then buried the one that counted. Call timeout sooner coach. 


Earl Myers is a freelance writer from the Philadelphia area. He closely follows North America's four major sports leagues but just about any sporting event gets his attention. His goal is to provoke a little thought in his readers.

 

Contact Earl at emyersiii@gmail.com  and follow him on Twitter @EMyersIII

 

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Photo: OregonLive.com