There’s been enough written and said about the job security of Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith. If he’s gone, which is quite likely, time to move forward and think ahead to his replacement. Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly is being recruited by the NFL once again.
He turned down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head job last year and rumors are abound that he’ll replace the soon to be fired Andy Reid in Philadelphia. With a record of 45-7, the highest winning percentage in all of college football, third in the nation in wins over that span, and he’s made a BCS bowl every year he’s coached in Eugene. He’s a hot coaching commodity. And he endorses this website, which is very important.
But will his coaching style translate to the NFL?
His offensive schemes do a lot of zone blocking just like in the NFL, with pulls and pulling guards. Kelly will have to add a few more complexities to the scheme, and find other ways to get the ball out of the qb’s hands quicker. Schematics wise I think he’ll be fine. The Chip Kelly pace is rapid fire, and I mean rapid and many Oregon scoring drives take seconds. Now only the New England Patriots really seem to run that much of an up tempo pace at the pro level. But can you argue against 11 AFC East titles in 12 years?
Other adjustments he’ll have to make: in college football it’s much easier to set the edge, in the NFL not so much. Really only the Tennessee Titans Chris Johnson can set the edge. That’s because at the pro level everyone runs sub 4.6s in the defensive front seven. By far the biggest difference in the college and pro game is speed. Now let’s say Kelly turns down the Eagles, and Bears GM Phil Emery offers him a job. How will the system work with the Bears personnel?
Well, the Bears OL is a complete train wreck, and no coordinator, not Ron Turner, Mike Martz or Mike Tice can seem to fix that. Kelly’s schemes will only work if he can keep Jay Cutler upright- which hasn’t happened much during Cutler’s tenure here.
But Kelly brings work ethic and ambition. He’s serious like Bill Belichick. He doesn’t joke around much in press conferences and he’d rather be watching film and studying than being the face of the franchise. So much so that some Ducks boosters want him gone. They don’t care for his less than fan-friendly approach to fundraising.
From CFB Section
Although most would agree Kelly is an extraordinary coach, he doesn’t care much for the many other obligations that come with his job. “Some of the college boosters have gone as far as to say, ‘I hope he does leave so we can get somebody who appreciates the fans,’” says Jack Roberts, a former Oregon labor commissioner and Oregon alumnus.
Of course, in the NFL Kelly wouldn’t have to deal with these sort of things. Instead he’ll face the 3rd largest media market every day. But it might not be that much f a change from Lovie Smith, who is the MOST BORING SOUNDBITE IMAGINABLE. Lovie never says anything of value and I’m sure Bears media relations love him for it.
If it looks like the NCAA will be coming down on Oregon with sanctions, it could mean Kelly makes a quick exit and takes one of the soon-to-be-vacant head coaching positions in the NFL, a la Pete Carroll in 2009.
Right before the USC Trojans were hit hard with massive sanctions, Carroll made the move to the Seattle Seahawks, where he’s built a competitive team while collecting a huge paycheck and avoided all that messy postseason ban business that Lane Kiffin got saddled with. Is it hard to imagine Kelly making the same move if he thinks things are about to get more difficult in Eugene?
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
A Fulbright scholar, published author and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.