Any coach making the jump from college to the NFL is going to have to face the Spurrier gambit. Chip Kelly was barely a rumor in Philadelphia before the comparisons of him to Seteve Spurrier began.
Spurrier rode his success with the Florida Gators to a head coaching job with the Redskins, where his wet paper defense failed to stop opposing rushers and a horrid offensive line left his quarterback routinely abused. He wound up surrendering just two years into a five-year contract, leaving $15 million behind just to get out of Washington.
And because that happened, it will always and forever be the Big Stupid Comparison that an innovative NCAA coach has to surpass before becoming accepted on the professional level.
Kelly's successful debut last Monday night, which featured an insanely fast offense that he swears will only get faster, was enough to get people excited. But as the Tuesday morning columnists picked the evening apart, they made a discovery: Steve Spurrier's NFL premiere was remarkably similar, and we all know how that ended.
Which means, therefore, that Chip Kelly is on the exact same path.
Not really, says Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead.
"Kelly’s Eagles: 77 plays, 443 yards, 33 points.
Spurrier’s Redskins: 73 plays, 442 yards, 31 points.
So let’s pump the brakes on the props for Kelly! He didn’t reinvent the gosh darn wheel!
That’s, of course, some delicious cherry-picking. The 2013 Eagles were playing a Redskins team coming off a playoff appearance. The Eagles were on the road. The Eagles were underdogs. The 2002 Redskins were playing at home, as 6-point favorites, against a pathetic Cardinals team.
And nobody bothered to mention two significant differences: Spurrier’s offense was pass-happy; Kelly’s is predicated on the run."
McIntyre then offers an even more-telling fact:Kelly faced a Redskins team that not only made the playoffs last season, but was in the top-5 last season against the run. They allowed 263 rushing yards on Monday night.
There are ways they're similar, sure. But a completely different guy running a totally different system 10 years ago shouldn't really influence Chip Kelly's Eagles too much.
Unless we make it so by refusing to shut up about it.