Posts Tagged ‘com/bobsullivan’

Why Chip Kelly is the Wrong Guy for the Eagles

In Philadelphia Eagles on February 2, 2013 at 4:46 pm


Lets start out by saying, don’t get me wrong about being an Eagles fan. I’ve been a fan for nearly 50 years and will continue to watch, attend games and root for the Birds to win the Super Bowl. Coach Kelly is saying all of the right things. He’s a football junkie that is going to work as hard as his job as anybody else. He even showed up at Wing Bowl. With that said, Chip Kelly was the wrong choice to turn this team around. For all of you who disagree we ask you this simple question, “why can Chip Kelly succeed in pro football when Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban and Pete Carroll couldn’t?”

Let’s compare the careers of the four.


In his 12 years at Florida prior to going to the Redskins Spurrier was 122-27-1 overall and 87-12 in the SEC. He never lost more than 4 games in a season.  This was after taking over an awful Duke program and in 3 seasons finishing tied for 1st place in the ACC. He was 20-13-1 at Duke.

Prior to Duke, Spurrier was the head coach of the Tampa Bay Bandits in the USFL going 35-19. The USFL was a far cry from the NFL. Following his great success at Florida, Spurrier became head coach of the Washington Redskins and lasted only 2 years. He compiled a 12-20 record and went back to college ball at the University of South Carolina where he has rebuilt the program in to a national power.

Spurrier has an overall college record of 208-77-2, with 1 national championship, and an NFL record of 12-20.


At this point Saban is considered the best coach in college football. He has won 4 national championships in the last 8 college football seasons with LSU and Alabama. Saban had a 1 year stop as head coach at Toledo (9-2) and a 5 year stop at Michigan State (34-24-1) before become the boss at LSU. Saban’s success in 5 years at LSU, (48-16 and a National Championship) led to an opportunity in the NFL as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. He lasted only 2 seasons in the NFL finishing 15-17.  Saban returned to college at Alabama and has dominated college football over the last 6 seasons, winning 3 national championships.

Saban has an overall college record of 154-55-1 with 4 national championships and a pro record of 15-17.


Pete Carroll’s situation is somewhat different, however still relevant to the discussion. Carroll was a head coach in the NFL before he was a head coach in college. He started as the head coach of the New York Jets for one season, (6-10) before moving to New England for 3 seasons. (27-21). The Patriots did finish 1st in Caroll’s first season there. Overall he was 33-31 in his first shot at the NFL.

Carroll moved to the college ranks at the University of Southern California and quickly built a powerhouse. In 9 seasons at USC the Trojans went 97-19, never losing more than 2 games for 7 straight seasons.

Carroll returned to the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks where he has gone 25-23 in 3 seasons.

Carroll has an overall college record of 97-19 with 2 national championships and an NFL record of 58-54.

That brings us to Chip Kelly.


Chip Kelly has never been in the NFL as a player or an assistant coach. He has been the head coach of the Oregon Ducks for 4 seasons. While at Oregon, Kelly compiled a 46-7 record with no national championships.

So why are these guys so much more successful in college football than in the NFL? It’s simple, all are great recruiters!! Each worked at locations that have great facilities with seemingly endless amounts of money being infused in to the programs. In Oregon’s case its Nike money that has turned their athletic program in to a powerhouse. In the NFL you don’t get to stockpile rosters with young recruits that are waiting for their turn to make it to the big time. A coach has to take players that are now professionals and meld them together through the draft and free agency. It’s building a team one position at a time with guys that you don’t necessarily have control of. It’s their job not their life. To make it worse, when you’re successful you get to pick further down in the draft giving you even less opportunity of selecting a “franchise player”. When new Temple coach Matt Rhule was hired after just one season in the NFL, as an assistant offensive line coach working for Tom Coughlin, he said it was like earning a PhD after spending a lifetime as a coach and player.  There’s nothing like experience and Chip Kelly doesn’t have it.

That brings us back to the question from above, “why can Chip Kelly succeed in pro football when Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban and Pete Carroll couldn’t?”

We wish Coach Kelly the best with the Eagles; however, the numbers don’t bode well for him.

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