The Philadelphia Eagles hired Chip Kelly to replace Andy Reid at head coach on January 16th. With the “legacy” of Reid being left, Kelly has big shoes to fill. Many people just wanted Reid out for a change, while many others wasn’t impressed with the product he put on the field the last couple seasons. The 2013 NFL season hasn’t even begun the off-season officially, but Kelly is going to face scrutiny from the coaches he has hired on his staff.
Kelly’s choices for his coaching staff are definitely head scratching moves. Former Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur has been named the offensive coordinator. Former Browns linebackers coach Billy Davis has been named the defensive coordinator. The OC and DC are the next most important positions behind the HC and I think both are horrible decisions.
If you have watched the Browns play over the past two seasons that Shurmur was the head coach, it’s nothing to be impressed with on the offensive side of the ball. In 2012, the Browns were 25th in total yards and 24th in points scored. In 2011, they were 29th in total yards and 30th in points scored. Yes it was an improvement, but that could mostly be credited to a few big plays for touchdowns. The weekly product was embarrassing to watch.
On the defensive side of the ball for the Browns, Davis headed the linebacking corps which was led by D’Qwell Jackson. Jackson has been a major piece for the defense and was their leader. Outside of Jackson, the Browns had 4 rookie LB’s who weren’t too good. Craig Robertson shows promise, but overall they didn’t appear to be a well coached unit.
Overall, looking deep at the moves Kelly has made for his coaching staff mirrors Reid’s “high risk, high reward” mentality. If the Eagles look good on both offense and defense, Kelly will look like a genius with the choices he made. If they tank on both sides of the ball, it’s a perfect scapegoat with the chance for a do-over. That was obvious Reid’s thought process when he promoted his friend Juan Castillo to defensive coordinator.
Kelly will either look like the smartest guy in the league if they win, but he won’t look like a complete idiot if they lose. I can’t blame him for the way he’s going about his staff, but there were better options on the market. We’ll just have to wait until September, when the coaches coach.