Jan. 3, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA: Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly (right) in the first half against the Kansas State Wildcats during the 2013 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Relax: Criticism of Kelly Hiring Premature


Jan. 3, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly looks on during the second half against the Kansas State Wildcats during the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Ducks beats the Wildcats 35-17. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a matter of hours since the Eagles officially announced the hiring of Oregon’s Chip Kelly. In this time, an eruption of opinion has spurned varying levels of debate throughout all facets of media. In typical Philly fashion, cheers of excitement and jubilation have been countered by deep cynicism and large amounts of second guessing.

What disappoints me the most, is the premature, sharp, criticism of a man who has yet to coach a down in the National Football League. Chip Kelly has yet to even make a formal statement regarding his future tenure in Philadelphia, yet some have already sealed his fate. Cynics have already predetermined that Coach Kelly’s system has no chance of working in the NFL and he will follow the path of Nick Saban and Steve Spurrier, running back to the NCAA with his tail between his legs.

I will be the first to admit, there is a chance this could happen. But then, isn’t that the case with ALL college coaches looking to make their break? Recent history tells you that this trend is changing. Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll can back me up on that.

Who’s to say that Chip Kelly’s plan is to bring in the same system he used at Oregon? One reason that he was hired was his very high “Football IQ”. Chip Kelly is widely regarded as one of the top young, revolutionary minds in the game. I expect that while some elements of his previous system will be used, he will look at the differences between NCAA and NFL football and adjust and adapt.

One thing to remember through the media storm that will consume our lives for the next few days is that Chip Kelly was hired for his brain, and potential for success. Not for his system.

So everybody relax.  Sit back and enjoy the highly anticipated and much welcomed, dawn of a new day.

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