In the new world of NFL football where there is no offseason, that seems to be the question on every analyst and fans’ lips. As both head coach and head of personnel decisions for the Philadelphia Eagles, Kelly single-handedly helped make the lead up to the 2015 free agency period one of the most exciting of all time. To bad 2015 didn’t finish as exciting!
He certainly raised eyebrows when he traded all-pro running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso, and looked flat out crazy after trading starting quarterback Nick Foles for oft-injured former first round pick Sam Bradford.
But how crazy were these moves, really? For roughly the same salary cap hit that McCoy represented, coach Chip added two solid players at running back in last year’s rushing champion DeMarco Murray and former Chargers runner Ryan Matthews. Both of these players fit Kelly’s definition of “downhill runners,” and while they may not be as explosive as “Shady” McCoy, have been just as effective in the yards per carry. In the power running game, Kelly seems to have opted against home run potential in favor of efficiency. Talking about it in terms of what might be is hard after watching what actually was! The Murray deal was money well wasted while Shady put up seven 100 yards in a row. Oh well!
Then we have the quarterback situation. From a talent perspective, Bradford is the better option but he has never stayed healthy nor lived up to his potential after winning “rookie of the year” honors all the way back in 2010. While faith in Bradford may be questionable, it’s clear that Nick Foles wasn’t going to be Chip Kelly’s quarterback, despite the success he had in 2013, and if you’re going to abandon your starting quarterback anyway, why not take a chance on a talent that could just be waiting on the right opportunity? Now we know if he was right about Foles, and Bradford played well this season even though he dealt with even more injuries.
The reason Chip Kelly’s moves Last off-season have been so polarizing is not that they are so wild, as much as they just never really worked. Kelly obviously has a plan, but he will have to do it some where else! Conventional wisdom in the NFL is that you need superstars, but Kelly as a coach is committed to his system and is willing to jettison players who don’t fit in his mold. DeSean Jackson was a victim just two years ago, and this year Kelly was content to let Jeremy Maclin walk. And that in large part is why Kelly found himself holding a pink slip!
The most interesting part of Kelly being fired is which NFL owner will take a chance on him a second time? Or will he go back to college? Odds makers have Kelly at 6/1 to be USC next head coach which is the second best odds of anyone. If you want to place a wager in states with sports betting you’ll find a wide range of odds and prop bets on Kelly to bet on.