Former University of Oregon coach Chip Kelly began his tenure as the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles with great fanfare. After an impressive first half and opening game victory against the Washington Redskins, the mainstream sports media gushed that professional football would be forever changed. Perhaps the biggest overreaction came from ESPN bloviated that Riley’s up-tempo offense would ‘revolutionize’ the NFL.
Riley is by all accounts a smart guy and a first-rate coach. He may go on to have considerable success at the professional level and its even possible that he could “revolutionize” the game. But what has become apparent since then is that it won’t happen this year.
Simply put, he just doesn’t have the right personnel on hand in Philadelphia to make the vaunted Oregon “blur” offense work.
The quarterback position may be the most problematic. During the offseason, the mainstream media thought that Michael Vick was the perfect fit for Kelly’s offense. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Anyone familiar with what Kelly did at Oregon knows that the offense is predicated on good decision-making by the quarterback — and Vick has been a poor on-field decision maker throughout his career.
What’s Next For Eagles Quarterbacks?
A spate of injuries to the Eagles’ quarterbacking corps has further complicated Kelly’s task. Vick was the first to go down which initially was addition by subtraction. Vick is easily the most overrated player in the league. He’s never learned to play the position of NFL quarterback and is especially bad at reading defenses. He’s done the same thing he’s always done — rely on his athleticism, which at age 33 isn’t what it once was. Vick is also brittle and injury prone. His quick exit last week with a re-aggravated hamstring injury was hardly a surprise. Injuries play a big role in betting lines being shifted by the bookies. Before you make a sports bet, make sure to look through SportsBettingPal.com for well researched sports betting picks.
When Vick first went down, Nick Foles took over and had some initial success. Foles isn’t a bad quarterback and is still learning his craft at age 24. His decision making isn’t great at this point either, however, and he suffers more from Philadelphia’s poor offensive line play, since he’s not as much of a rushing threat as Vick. Foles missed time after suffering a concussion, which allowed Vick to retake the starting job for just over a quarter until he left Sunday’s game against the New York Giants. Foles has been upgraded to “probable” for this week’s game at Oakland and will likely start and he’s ranked 15th for Week 9.
That leaves one healthy quarterback on the roster — rookie Matt Barkley. Barkley played college ball at USC and would have likely been a top 10 selection had he declared for the NFL draft after his junior year. Instead he returned to USC, but both he and the team had a disappointing season. Eventually he was selected in Round 4 of the 2013 NFL draft. The jury is still out on whether or not he’ll become a serviceable NFL quarterback, but he’s definitely not ready for a starting role. He’s been highly ineffective in limited action with no touchdowns and four interceptions. He’s splitting reps with Foles in practice this week, but will likely serve in a backup role.
It’s far too early to write off Chip Kelly as a NFL coach. Likewise, it’s premature to dismiss the effectiveness of his offensive schemes at the professional level. In addition to other issues (a porous defense and a weak offensive line), he doesn’t really have a viable option at quarterback to run the Blur offense. For the rest of this season at least, the determination of a starting QB will be predicated more on “who’s healthy” with little consideration to “who’s effective.”