Chip Kelly’s system is often regarded as the most unique in professional football but over the duration of his tenure in Philadelphia, Kelly traded away some impact players and rebuilt the Offense from scratch. This season however it all came crumbling down as players didn’t live up to expectations and a failure to address glaring issues haunted Chip. What’s left after his firing is an Offense that is incomplete yet full of potential and if the birds are smart, they will look for a coach who can turn this unit of talented individuals into one of the most intimidating in the NFL.
Fans in Philadelphia have pined for a defensive coach to replace Chip Kelly since the announcement was made with many wanting to instil the same passion and heart that Brian Dawkins once did. To turn the Eagles back into a Defensive monster with the right pieces under the right coach..but the problems defensively are fixable under any coach because of the consistency displayed year after year..Offensively is another issue and here’s why.
Run Forest, run!
The Eagles took a giant leap in trading LeSean McCoy for Kiko Alonso..they took an even bigger leap in signing DeMarco Murray, a running back who is the binary opposite of what Chip needed to a monumental deal that will see him remain in Philly until the end of 2019.
Whoever the next coach is, simply HAS to make DeMarco Murray the focal point of the Offense. If the Eagles can’t establish a run game or at least learn how to use Murray efficiently then not only is this destined to be one of the biggest busts in the history of Eagles signings but it’s going to hurt the Offense until he’s either traded or becomes a UFA.
Not only that, but we have already seen what harm it can do to a Defense who end up playing far more than they are prepared for and put in situations where a scoreless drive seems almost out of reach. The Eagles HAVE to find a way to utilise DeMarco Murray and the problems he faced this year were too predictable for Defenses. The Eagles have three running backs and the chances of this “committee” retaining its structure going forward are very slim. Mathews and Sproles are highly unlikely to see a large amount of snaps or anything close to what they saw this season if a Defensive Coach is signed..one of the two might even end up being traded or released.
Signing a Defensive Coach is fine..but the Eagles have a lot of players with specialties that are so diverse you could create a hugely intimidating Offense very easily and nothing demonstrates that more than the backfield..but you have to be of the right mindset to do it, otherwise you’re wasting talent, money and time.
The whole point of Chips Offense was speed..but in an ironic twist, it was something the Offense lacked this season. Receivers struggled to get separation, Murray couldn’t run through the tackles effectively and the time between plays..the one stat Chip DID care about went up as Defenses began to find ways to plan against this Offense.
The Eagles have fantastically talented route runners in Matthews and Ertz and one name who may surprise you here is Agholor..a rookie who excelled in USC but after running basic seam routes all year never really got a chance to show his release until the final game on a cutback play.
The problem is that the playbook didn’t lean towards the receiving talents and instead focused on plays that were built on the basis of speed. The result was a lot of miscommunications (dating as far back as Foles’ last stint before injury), drops and a complete lack of threatening play.
The Eagles need an Offensive minded coach who understands how to get the best out of his players..for instance if Agholor has elite burst speed then implement more complex routes. A standardised Offense wouldn’t be the worst thing..but it wouldn’t be special and what these players are is special..they just need the right key to unlock their potential.
Chip Kelly and drafting with the exception of Jordan Hicks was just…meh. Marcus Smith…meh….Josh Huff…slightly better than meh in his second season and Nelson Agholor as of right now..hmmmmmeehh. Nobody stands out as an excellent pick bar Hicks and that’s worrying. And then of course there’s the nuking of the roster.
The Eagles have far more problems on Offense than Defense and an Offensively minded coach who can address the line issues in the first round, who can find receivers that will develop if used correctly, who understands that impact players are so important and you can’t just throw talent away because it doesn’t fit your system.
A Defensive Coach could likely walk into Philly, see potential for a high contract in Sam Bradford and let him walk in exchange for Defensive pieces that aren’t needed. The Eagles HAVE a great Defense..they have a BAD coordinator.