How good is first-year coach Chip Kelly?
The qualifier “first-year” should tell you all you need to know: It’s too early to tell.
But just like Sunday’s snow storm proved it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, the win the Eagles stole from the Lions yesterday offered more signs that Kelly is something special.
Just how special is yet to be determined, but if there’s one thing consistent among sports analysis, it’s knee-jerk reactions coupled with a narrow perspective. The last thing you watched is almost always the best/worst/most unbelievable thing you’ve ever seen.
We all do it. It’s human nature.
So maybe it is because of Sunday’s big come-from-behind win in the snow, one that may not have been possible without Kelly, unlike most coaches, taking offensive advice from the most unlikely of sources - starting cornerback Cary Williams.
Maybe it’s because the Eagles have won five straight and are, for the moment, in sole possession of first place in the NFC East.
Or perhaps it’s because we are indeed witnessing something special.
Whatever the reason, Kelly has been getting tons of credit from the national media lately, but nothing as strong as the endorsement he received Monday morning on ESPN Radio.
Former quarterback and ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer was a guest of Colin Cowherd and when the topic of Kelly’s recent success and the development of Nick Foles came up, Dilfer offered the following:
I think what the tape says about Chip Kelly, and it's a great question, is it's not the offense he runs. It's how pliable he is. He's so adaptable. He's so, he's willing to mold and shape his philosophy to his personnel. He just has a pulse for his team, a pulse for the game. And he's able to adapt to it.
I mean, I talked to a guy in the NFL who - I can't say his name, but to me he's on the Mt. Rushmore of coaches. There's nobody better, nobody better in personnel. And he said that in all his time in the NFL, the best coach he's ever seen is Chip Kelly.
There's people who say this guy has forgotten more football than a lot of people in the league.
He is a tremendous coach, and he's showing it. I think some people may get turned off because his personality doesn't always fit all the time. There is a little bit of arrogance or a swag there, but I'd take him as my coach. I just think he is an incredible coach.
While this statement may a bit premature (considering he has only coached 13 NFL games) that doesn’t make it wrong.
Only time will tell, but it certainly feels a lot more like Christmas today than it did a year ago, when the Eagles were 4-9 and all hope seemed lost.