The trade for Kiko Alonso at the start of the Off-Season not only shocked a lot of Eagles fans, but it almost made them riot. Why would you trade your franchise running back when on paper the return looked bleak? But it’s a lot deeper than that, and now Eagles fans are starting to see the true vision that Kelly possesses and get behind his choices. There are still those who doubt Chip Kelly when it comes to this decision, we’re here to prove them wrong.
It doesn’t matter how long it takes, Kelly always finds a way to get his man. Whether or not that case will ring true for Mariota remains to be seen, but for the most part, the former Oregon coach always finds a way to bring in those who will fit his system perfectly. Kelly bought Alonso to Oregon back in 2008 where he turned into one of the brightest young prospects on the roster. A total of 58 tackles in his final year saw him picked by the Bills in the following NFL Draft. This, is where the story or indeed fate as some may call it gets interesting.
In his rookie season, Alonso showed the world just how dominant he can be. He ended by leading the Bills in both tackles and interceptions. His career then suffered a major set back, tearing his ACL in a workout and missing the entire 2014 campaign. When people hear Kiko Alonso’s name they think of the man who is now an injury risk. The man who missed an entire season who could be a drain on resources. That isn’t the case. Here’s why.
Chip kelly knows Alonso better than perhaps any Coach in the NFL currently. Having coached him for so long and been the man to originally take a chance on his potential, he knows exactly what he’s capable of. He know what works and what doesn’t and more than anything will be the best coach to keep him healthy with the Eagles sport science program.
Alonso possesses great speed and has already shown an elite ability to get to the Quarterback efficiently whilst being able to keep up with some of the fastest backs in the game. It’s rare for any linebacker to possess the natural instincts that the 24 year old does, let alone someone of his age and limited experience. A natural leader, Kiko Alonso took command of Buffalo in his rookie season as he rapidly merged as one of the most exciting prospects to watch out for. Aggressive on the tackle but nimble enough to threaten the most elusive of players, Alonso is a very rare type of player indeed.
The former Bill is the perfect fit to the Eagles 3-4 Defence. There’s no better scheme in the league to highlight his athleticism or physicality. It’s not just the scheme but the talent around him. Starting next to Mychal Kendricks, Connor Barwin and DeMeco Ryans should give him the perfect chance to learn from some of the best in their positions.
The Sky is truly the limit for Kiko Alonso and there will naturally be a lot of attention placed on his shoulders to see if he was worth the loss of LeSean McCoy. But the truth is, if Alonso turns out to be even half the player he was at Buffalo or lives up to a fraction of what Kelly believed he could achieve back in 2008, then the Eagles Defence is certain to improve. There is no doubting his talent, only his ability to remain healthy for a whole season after two ACL surgeries.