After being turned down more times than a fat kid who wanted cake the Philadelphia Eagles finally found their next head coach, 15 interviews and 4 rejections later. In a sense of desperation the Eagles general manager begged Oregon head coach Chip Kelly to reconsider his offer, and 16 days after their first interview which lasted 8 hours Kelly agreed to become the next coach of the Eagles.
After winning the Fiesta Bowl in convincing fashion over the Kansas State Wildcats Kelly was at the top of every NFL owner’s wish list due to his explosive Oregon Duck offense that averaged one touchdown every 56 seconds. Elements of his spread offense has become the latest buzz in the NFL ranks due to the successful implementation and play of athletic quarterbacks like the Washington Redskins Robert Griffin III, the Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson, and the San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick.
After his five-year stint in Eugene no one can blame Kelly for giving the NFL a shot, but the timing of his decisions makes one wonder why the sudden change of heart? When Kelly first pasted on the job it was the same weekend that Robert Griffin III tore his ACL and PCL in the Redskins first round loss to the Seattle Seahawks. After the injury criticism was rampant with about the longevity of the spread offense phenomena and punishment quarterbacks running this offense would take.
Coincidentally two weeks later when the other two stars of the spread offense had phenomenal post-season performances – Kaepernick (4 TDs, 263 yards passing & 181 yards rushing) and Wilson (3 TDs, 385 yards passing & 60 yards rushing) Kelly reconsidered the Eagles offer.
Another reason for his exit may be due to the pending NCAA investigation of the Oregon football team of improper benefits to a Texas handler Willie Lyles who steered 5-star running back Lache Seastrunk and other talented Texas recruits to Eugene. This cloud of uncertainty and unavoidable penalties and sanctions on the horizon, guilt or knowledge of wrong-doing may have been the final straw.
In time his real motives for leaving the Oregon Ducks will be revealed: Is a multi-year Bowl ban with scholarship reductions on the horizon? As Kelly assumes the challenge of rejuvenating a once proud franchise he certainly will have a lot of talented playmakers at his disposal. Although he will be greeted with praise and possibly even a standing ovation; remember the same fan base that booed Santa Clause will not be patient. Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark