Will Eagle Fans learn to Trust Chip Kelly?

Chip Kelly5

Since Chip Kelly took over in Philadelphia he has made huge changes to the roster that now have Eagles fans questioning whether he’s a mad scientist or just mad — and some are now questioning if his motives extend beyond just football decisions.

Having watched Chip Kelly lead the Ducks to a 46-7 record over four years, Oregon fans learned to trust his decisions. However, Eagles fans who are already an anxious bunch to begin with — having never won a Super Bowl — have seen Kelly send away major contributors in consecutive seasons. Philly fans were already breathing heavily into a paper bag when Lesean McCoy was traded, and now with Jeremy Maclin on his way to Kansas City they are asking their doctors to increase their prescription of Prozac. I thought it would be helpful to take a look at Chip’s old chemistry set to show Eagles fans why there may be a method to the madness after all.

Desean Jackson

Chip Kelly leading the Oregon Ducks onto the field.

Chip Kelly leading the Oregon Ducks onto the field.

Jackson is obviously a tremendous talent capable of breaking a game wide open on any single play, but as Jeremy Maclin showed in 2014, his numbers weren’t irreplaceable. In 2013 Jackson posted career numbers in targets (126), catches (82) and yards (1,332), and he tied his career best with nine touchdowns. These are impressive numbers which anybody would struggle to replace, but his departure to Washington opened the door for Jeremy Maclin to move into the number one spot. In 2014 Maclin posted nearly identical numbers to Jackson’s ’13 campaign: 119 targets, 85 catches, 1,318 yards and ten touchdowns.

Lesean McCoy for Kiko Alonso

On the surface it is clear why this trade got so many Eagles fans upset. McCoy had been a star in Pennsylvania even before being drafted by Philadelphia in 2009. The past two seasons he’s carried the ball a total of 626 times while racking up 2,926 yards. Yet again Chip will be faced with replacing a player who provided tremendous production. Fortunately, Chip Kelly has a strong track record of replacing bell cow running backs, going back to his first season at Oregon.

Chip Kelly consulting his player after the game against Boise State

Chip Kelly consulting his player after the game against Boise State

In the fall of 2009 Legarrette Blount returned from an eye popping junior season in which he amassed 1,002 yards and a school record 17 touchdowns while sharing time with Jeramiah Johnson, who rushed for 1,202 that same season. Expectations were extremely high for Blount’s senior season until the “Incident In Boise” all but ended his year. Coming off of the loss to Boise and the Blount suspension, Oregon fans’ hopes were crushed. Then entered an undersized freshman running back whom most had never heard of: LaMichael James. James went on to collect 14 touchdowns and 1,546 yards his freshman season and even when Blount was eligible to return, his job was no longer available.

While it may be hard for Eagles fans to say goodbye to McCoy, replacing his production may not prove as difficult as it seems — not to mention, the upgrade that Kiko Alonso provides for a defense that took a step back in 2014. In 2014 the Eagles’ defense surrendered five more touchdowns and collected seven fewer interceptions than the previous season. The addition of Alonso and Byron Maxwell should provide upgrades to a unit that was burned badly the final four weeks of the season, giving up nearly 29 points per game in that stretch.

Jeremy Maclin

Chip Kelly at the podium talking about the Philadelphia Eagles game

Chip Kelly at the podium talking about the Philadelphia Eagles game

The Eagles made a competitive offer for Jeremy Maclin but couldn’t… or wouldn’t come up to meet him at his 11 million dollar asking price. While it obviously hurts to lose a player of his caliber, on top of the other stars who have already found new homes, Chip Kelly has answered similar questions in resounding fashion throughout his coaching career. Chip obviously has enough faith in his system and plan to bet on himself even when Eagles fans aren’t as enthusiastic about taking that gamble. If all of these moves do result in a losing season it would be Kelly’s first since he was the offensive coordinator at New Hampshire. My advice to Eagles fans: trust Chip, he’s done this before.

Top photo credit: From Video

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Mike Sweeney

Mike Sweeney

I have been a Duck fan for as long as I can remember. While I didn't attend the University of Oregon I've been going to games with my dad since I was a toddler. I listen to way more sports radio than any healthy human should. I'm currently a Case Manager at Jackson County Mental Health which is often challenging and rewarding at the same time... some days are admittedly more challenging than rewarding. I live and die with Oregon football but my passion for sports extends well beyond that. I'll take anything I can get from Major League Baseball to European soccer and nearly everything in between.

  • hokieduck

    The McCoy move was all about the salary cap. The cap hit would have been 8 figures, even higher than his actual salary for the year. He gets Kiko for the rookie contract numbers.

    My fear is that this is Kiko’s second major ACL injury. Healthy, the kid is a total beast. I hope that advances in treatment and recovery for this injury prove to be true for Kiko and we get to see him explode in Eagle green.

  • funduck

    Eagles Fan……………… R. E. L. A. X…….. your team is being “overhauled” by the other “chip”. Your going to love how fast the offense is going to become and how opportunistic the defense will be. I think I might go down and get a hat, with a big olé bird on it

  • ben

    There is little doubt in my mind about Chip Kelly. I listen to 2 eagle stations, WIP and 97.5 the fanatic. Both are ripping him daily. Pisses me off.

  • ben

    Kelly breaks the bubble called “the NFL way” takes courage to risk everything on one’s beliefs.