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Can The Eagles Chip Kelly Take The Lead In The NFL Strategy Race?

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie is hoping that a bright, out of box thinking college coach like Chip Kelly, can come into the league and develop a Super Bowl Championship team with new offensive concepts.  If that happens it won’t be the first time.

I remember playing against Bill Walsh-coached Stanford teams when I was a USC linebacker and confronting his West Coast offense.  He hadn’t completely developed all the concepts of the offense, but he was trying to figure out a way to move the football consistently against us, even though we had superior talent.

They couldn’t run the ball against us, so he decided to use his short passing game as his running game. That’s one of the key concepts of the west coast offense.

They would also run motion, shifts and formations which forced our linebackers to be matched up against their wide receivers, but we able to cover them because we were better athletes, but on the professional level, linebackers can’t cover wide receivers.

If you look at tape of the 49ers you will see the tight end go in motion outside of Jerry Rice versus

Those are still key fundamentals of the west coast offense.  Of course a couple of years after those battles, Walsh left Stanford for the 49ers, drafted Joe Montana from Notre Dame, and started winning Super Bowls in a couple of years.

Walsh conducted uptempo practices where his offense focused on timing and precision, rather than a punishing physical type of workouts, which the rest of the league practiced.

There’s one difference in Walsh and Kelly and that’s the fact that Walsh had NFL experience when he became head coach of the 49ers.  He had been offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals.

In 1985 the Chicago Bears defense dominated the NFL like no defense ever has or ever will.  They finished the season 18-1 and won a Super Bowl title.  There was much talk that year about Jim McMahon and William “Refrigerator” Perry, but success was solely  because of defense because their defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan was ahead of every NFL offense.

He believed in attacking the least tough player on the offense, the quarterback, by attacking the offensive blocking scheme.  His 46 defense moved eight-guys into the box to entice the offense to throw the ball, then he would blitz them to death and pummel the quarterback.  He knew if he just got good hits on the quarterback every time he threw the ball, they would start throwing interceptions and the offense would crumble.

Not only did the Bears defense stop opposing offenses, it seemed that they forced turnovers every other play.  They scored on defense consistently and had most of the league so intimidated that they started making mistakes as they were getting off the bus at the stadium.

For a few years, Buddy Ryan was strategically and intellectually ahead of the rest of the league.  It took them a few years to figure out the 46 defense and how to attack it.

Bill Parcells turned Lawrence Taylor and a dominating New York Giants defense loose on the NFL and the Giants won a couple Super Bowl titles.  Bill Belichick was the defensive coordinator of those teams, which were led by their defense.

Joe Gibbs, the “Hogs” and John Riggins ruled the NFL for a few years with their power sweep.  He used many of Walsh’s match-up concepts in his passing game, but it was the power running game, which set them apart.  He had learned that power running game as an assistant coach at USC.

Former Miami University head coach Jimmy Johnson brought his enthusiasm and leadership ability to the Dallas Cowboys.  Norv Turner brought the punishing running game he had learned as a graduate assistant at USC and the downfield passing game he had learned from working under offensive coordinator Ernie Zampese.

He had Troy Aikman throwing the same pass routes which Dan Fouts had thrown.  This passing attack emphasizes the downfield passing game.

Former Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan utilized Terrell Davis and the zone blocking scheme to capture a couple of Super Bowl titles in the late nineties.  Shanahan employed the West Coast passing game, which he learned as an assistant for Bill Walsh with the 49ers.  John Elway was the quarterback of those teams, but they dominated the game on the ground.

Dick Vermeil and the St. Louis Rams took over the league for a few years with their “Greatest Show On Turf”.   It was an uptempo offense that spread out defenses and attacked them down the field.

Offensive coordinator Mike Martz and quarterback Kurt Warner attacked defenses with speed and precision at the wide receiver position.  Martz was a mad bomber from the Ernie Zampese, Don Coryell school of passing, which believes in attacking the defense with deep seam (skinny posts) routes and throwing the ball downfield.

Coryell designed the San Diego Chargers offense that made Fouts a Hall of Fame quarterback.

That Rams team had Hall of Fame level personnel at their skill positions with Warner, RB Marshall Faulk, WR Isaac Bruce and WR Torry Holt.

For most of his career, Hall of Fame bound quarterback Peyton Manning has been ahead of the defenses in the National Football League.  He has the ability to get pre-snap reads like no one in league history.  Many times he would call the play at the line of scrimmage.

Unfortunately Manning let’s the pressure get to him in the playoffs and doesn’t play at the same level, but strategically he has been ahead of the league for most of his career.

There’s no question that Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots have been ahead on the league, when it comes to the strategy of moving the ball offensively.  Year after year Tom Brady and the Pats offense have found ways to score more points than everybody in the NFL regardless of their talent at the skills positions.  They create the right matchups, then exploit them.

There’s no question that Chip Kelly’s spread offense has had a major affect on the NFL although he has never coached on this level.  The read option is being used by the 49ers, Seahawks, Redskins and Panthers.  The zone blocking scheme is being used by the Texans, the Redskins, and a number of other teams.

You must have the superior strategy with the players who can make it work.  When the two come together, you have yourself a championship team.

We’ll see whether he can get ahead of the rest of the NFL in talent and strategy.  It’s going to be quite a challenge.

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Posted by on Jan 18 2013. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Coaching Staff, Eagles, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

19 Comments for “Can The Eagles Chip Kelly Take The Lead In The NFL Strategy Race?”

  1. and now the Eagles have “Shaggy” at QB and “Scooby-Doo” as their Coach..
    This should be fun to watch…

  2. Paulman, Whats not fun is the report coming from NFL network saying Horton is about to become the D Coord in Cleveland, we can bash Banner all we want but guess what, hes putting together a serious coaching staff behind that ROOKIE coach, i say it like that cause we too have a rookie coach as far as the NFL and we too should be bringing in experience Coords to help him adapt, lets hope we do.

  3. I read that this morning .. CLeveland is putting together a nice Front OFfice and Staff.. They also hire Mike Lombardi as Director of PLayer Personnel to handle te Drafting/Scouting and overall Roster Manangement of the Browns Roster.
    Pretty impressive start by Banner..
    If the Cleveland Browns win the Super Bowl before the Eagles do, I may have to stop watching Football all together…

    I did hear/read that Eagles interested in Alabama DC Kirby Smart which would be an excellent Hire.. Not sure if they have talked yet or not..

    • Kirby Smart is being looked at as being the Linebackers Coach/Assistant Defensive Coordinator for the Eagles, The Defensive Coordinator will be the Coach from University of Georgia.

  4. I think Chip Kelly is going to go with a young,hungry College Level Coaches on his Staff.. I don’t expect to see many old-timer NFL Experience Coaches on this Eagles Staff.. I am not sure that’s such a bad thinkg..

  5. I heard the oppisite, I heard hes gonna bring in someone on either side of the ball with NFL experience to help him adjust, well, we’ll know within the next week what his stff looks like, i have no doubt its gonna look good.

  6. vinnietheevictor

    Its also going to be quite an adjustment for the fanbase that’s used to the “traditional way” an NFL game is run.

    I mean, how many times on a 3rd and 4 stop do the announcers say, “___________ has been ‘forced’ to punt” Every time. Like its a foregone conclusion.

    Not anymore. 4th and 4 will just be another down to Kelly. We’re going to (I hope) see quite a revolution, not just in the pace of the game, but also in the on-field decisions being made every drive. I (whose teams have not punted save for a ‘rouge’ – obscure canadian scoring play – for a decade (unless dictated by weather))…welcome it.

    Should be fun.

  7. You are mistaken if you think Kelly will run the Oregon offense here, at least this next year, by his statements about foles, praise, that he hates negative yards,of which Vick isvthe king of, an by his repeated statements that the personnel drives the scheme and not vice versa, its apparent he’s seriously considering foles and a new England style that plays on the strengths of foles/ Brady type quarterback

    • I’ve been saying just that since they interviewed him. Think new England not Seattle!

    • Jake we will get a true indicator during that first mini camp if Foles is the guy then he’ll be installed by then and yes indeed we’ll see a New England style offense. We need some tight ends first though.

    • Thank you, Jakedog. You are one of the few that has been able to extrapolate that possibility from what Kelly has said so far. That’s the impression I get as well. Tom Brady is not the most mobile of QBs (neither is Foles) though he moves well WITHIN the pocket (Foles also). And we know that Bellichick incorporates a lot of Kelly’s philosophy into his schemes. Thus, I’m thinking along those same lines. That we’ll see a style similar to the Patriots with liberal tweaks here and there. Kelly has already voiced his admiration for Foles therefore, I think there is a good chance that Foles will be his starter. Kelly has said, REPEATEDLY,that he is not wed to that Oregon offense. I fail to understand why posters and critics continue to insist that, “It won’t work here”.

  8. lets not speculate on speculation, THE QB POSITION IS NOT SETTLED YET, let both of them battled it out in training camp..which scares some Foles supporters. as he looked like a completely different guy in the regular season compared to his pre season. you can coach a qb to better read defenses, you can’t coach ability & skill set

    • Foles faced vanilla defenses in the per season. But as he played longer with less superior weapons he showed signs of getting it. Like you said you can teach a QB to read defenses better except Vick he’s too old. Give foles a full off season of studying and playing and see what happens. Then we should judge. You maybe surprised. This kid has the ability and skill set.

  9. They are not going to pay somebody 16 million for the right to battle it out!

    • EXACTLY! It’s just another failed, last ditch effort, for the Vick worshippers, to delude themselves, into thinking he’s coming back. GET IT THROUGH YOUR ROCK HEADS, IT……IS……..OVER!

  10. My ray didinger statement of the day: Mike Vick will not be the qb next year. That is the only thing that is settled.

  11. **Eagles News**

    Eagles/Chip Kelly are expected to make a decision on his Defensive Coordinator today. Hearing that it may be Todd Grantham and if job is offered to him he will by all means accept the job.
    Todd Bowles is expected to be released today allowing him to pursue other coaching opportunities.

    • Hearing??? It was offered to him, the day Kelly was hired, you imbecile! It’s only been mentioned on every site, & station for 3 days, for every eye, & ear, to read & hear! STFU & get a life, LOSER!!!!

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