History - and personnel - suggest Chip Kelly's start will be slow
In his first game as a college head coach, Chip Kelly took his 16th-ranked Oregon Ducks and his fast-paced offense to meet 14th-ranked Boise State and lost 19-8. That game ended with Ducks safety Legarrette Blount, who had promised an "ass-whipping" early in the week punching a taunting Boise State player and then mixing it up with some fans in the end zone before he was restrained and taken away.
A disgusted fan who made the trip wrote to Kelly and said he wished he could get his money back. Kelly wrote the fan a personal check for $439, the exact amount of his travel costs, which was never cashed.
Chip Kelly was promoted to offensive coordinator at The University of New Hampshire before the 1999 season. In four of the five seasons that followed, the Wildcats finished with a record below .500. Since then, they have made the Division 1AA playoffs in nine consecutive seasons, the first four while Kelly was still there as their coordinator.
The morale of our story, as Monday’s opener against the Redskins approaches, is to not judge a Kelly by whether he covers. The Eagles are 3 ½ point underdogs, and the over/under is 51, and if I were a betting man, I’d bet the Eagles get beat by more than that and don’t score enough to warrant the lofty point total either.
"Work in progress," Kelly has said repeatedly this summer, especially after some of those embarrassing plays made in exhibition games. At UNH, Kelly ascended to his coordinator’s job, meaning he already had recruited and coached the players he inherited. Similarly, he was Oregon’s coordinator for two years before Mike Bellotti became the school’s athletic director and cleared the way for Kelly’s first head coaching gig. So, again, Kelly knew his personnel already, and was involved in their recruiting too.
His NFL experience has none of these cushions, as the cuts made last week and over the weekend clearly illustrates.
To read the rest of Sam Donnellon's piece head over to PhillyDailyNews.com.