Excerpt: "Chip Kelly hasn't coached a minute in the NFL, which would've concerned me greatly if I owned the Eagles.
I agree with Jeff Lurie when he says Kelly has a brilliant football mind. But the college-to-pro jump is a huge one. Huge enough that I would've stayed away from Kelly and put my money down on one of the pro guys - Gus Bradley or Ken Whisenhunt or Bruce Arians or Lovie Smith.
Publicly, Eagles players are saying all of the right things about Kelly right now. But what most of them really are thinking is, "What the hell does this guy know about coaching in the NFL?"
The recent track record of college coaches jumping to the NFL is lousy. Nick Saban was hired by the Dolphins in 2005 after winning a national championship at LSU, went 9-7, then 6-10, then scurried back to college, where he's won two more national titles at Alabama. And unlike Kelly, Saban had spent 6 years as an NFL assistant, including 4 as a defensive coordinator for Bill Belichick in Cleveland.
Bobby Petrino left Louisville to take the Falcons' head-coaching job in '07, got sick to his stomach after 13 games, only three of which his team won, and ran off to a place where they wear pigs on their heads and everybody's related to one another. And Petrino, like Saban, had NFL experience on his resumé, spending 3 years as an assistant with Jacksonville, including one as offensive coordinator.
The last college coach to get an NFL head-coaching job with no experience in the league was Mike Riley, who was hired by the Chargers in '99 and fired 3 years and only 14 wins later.
"It's going to be incumbent upon Chip and [general manager] Howie [Roseman] to bring in the type of players that fit best what he wants to do," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said.
"In the meantime, he and his staff have to establish credibility early with the players that he has. And I think he can. I don't know him. But from looking at the tape, I think he does a great job of taking what he has and working with it.
"If a player thinks you can make him a better player, that's what it's all about. That's the buy-in. And I think he'll be able to do that." Read more...