As the Philadelphia Eagles prepare for their season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at the Linc, there will be plenty of articles previewing the game, its players, and predictions of its outcome.
Instead of writing one of those articles, I decided it might be interesting (and you’ll be the judge of that) to focus on the two head coaches in the opener, Chip Kelly of the Philadelphia Eagles and Gus Bradley of the Jacksonville Jaguars. These two coaches are inexorably linked in time. Had Chip Kelly said no to the Eagles head coaching position in 2013, Gus Bradley would now be the coach leading the Eagles out onto the field on Sunday against Jacksonville.
And what a dichotomy for the Eagles. While Chip Kelly is fast gaining a reputation as an offensive genius, Gus Bradley has already earned his station as a defensive wizard with Seattle, and is recognized as the architect of the Seahawks Super Bowl Champion defense. A simple “no” to Jeffrey Lurie from Chip Kelly would have set forth an alternate reality for the Philadelphia Eagles, and they would be a very different team than they are today. Some interesting examples to consider:
Since Bradley has a strong defensive background, and the Philadelphia Eagles possessed a fairly potent offense even prior to the 2013 season, all indications are that Bradley would have kept most of the Eagles offense intact, adding players that would have only complemented the existing group. DeSean Jackson and Bryce Brown, amongst others, would be in Eagles uniforms on Sunday, September 7, 2014. Jedd Fisch (who Bradley hired in Jacksonville) would be the Eagles offensive coordinator. I’m fairly certain that there would have been a strong schematic symbiosis, since Fisch and Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman were college roommates at Florida and are BFF’s.
But it’s the defense where the most significant impacts would be felt. Gus Bradley’s art in life.