Philadelphia Eagles Follow Reid Plan With Chip Kelly
By Nick Takacs
Sep 19, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid talks with Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly during warmups at Lincoln Financial Field. The Chiefs defeated the Eagles 26-16. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
The recent announcements out of the Philadelphia Eagles regarding head coach Chip Kelly and executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman strike an interesting chord when compared against the tenure of former head coach Andy Reid. While Reid enjoyed much success in his 14 seasons as Eagles head coach, he became the anomaly of NFL coaches that wielded an enormous amount of power within the organization. With that power comes a lot of responsibility, and the last few years of the Reid tenure show the toll it took both personally and professionally.
With Roseman’s recent firing of VP of Player Personnel Tom Gamble, Kelly went straight to owner Jeffrey Lurie, and ultimately succeeded in increasing his control of the team. The latest changes give Kelly control over all player decisions, something he had to work with Roseman on prior. This could signal a willingness by Lurie to go back to what worked in the past, under Reid. What’s different this time? Kelly doesn’t have a family life, and children struggling with addictions to cloud his football mind. He is 100% dedicated to football and to the Philadelphia Eagles.
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What that means for the team is yet to be answered? However, I would expect Kelly to focus heavily on the defensive side of the ball. This last season raised some questions both in terms of defensive coaching, and of the personnel department’s (under Roseman) ability to find the right players to fit the scheme. We all saw the result on the field, and luckily, the Birds came out matching last year’s record, albeit needing a final week win to snap a 3-game losing streak.
If you put things in perspective, as bad as Reid’s last years with the Eagles became, the bulk of his tenure was exciting and positive. 5 trips to the NFC Championship Game, 1 trip to the Super Bowl, and many more NFC East Titles gave Reid some breathing room. Kelly has one NFC East title to his 2-year pro resume. He’ll need to get the team back to division champion status and playoff contender quickly. Philadelphia fans will not wait, and any lapse in judgements will result in quick comparison to the end days of the Eagles-Reid coaching marriage.
The Eagles are about to embark on version 2.o of the organizational structure that Andy Reid thrived in. A cold reality is that one day it will end. Hopefully, this time around, all parties will see it coming and end the relationship before it drags the organization down. For now, Kelly can line himself up for a championship run in the years to come. He has the control, and the mindset to make it happen.
Much as the best and most successful quarterbacks dedicate many more hours than we see on television to their craft, so too do the coaches. With his focus squarely on the Philadelphia Eagles, Andy Reid 2.0 might not be that bad of a scenario. The off-season leading into the 2015 season will tell us a lot about the future of these Eagles.