Going back over of few of my posts on this blog earlier in the year when Eagles' head coach Chip Kelly was wheeling and dealer players like Monte Hall, I found that I was rather critical of his moves at the time. After taking time to digest the entire situation, I have come to the conclusion that those early observations and comments were premature, unfounded and actually unfair.
My problem was that I got too caught-up in conventional thinking which has run rampant in the NFL over the past several years. There can only be one Super Bowl winner each season, while there can be any number of NFL head coaches and general managers that start making roster moves with self-preservation of their jobs at the top of their mind. Bold moves are not all that common in this league when it comes to building a winner, but that is basically the equivalent of playing not to lose as opposed to playing to win.
Ever since Kelly decided to leave the college ranks at Oregon to take the head coach position in Philadelphia, nothing he has done has been conventional. Most NFL experts highly questioned whether his fast-paced, up-tempo offensive scheme that turned the Ducks into a national power at the collegiate level would work at the pro level. It went against the time-honored perception that controlling the clock was directly linked to winning in this league. Kelly has not only challenged this theory, he has openly stated that he does not even care about time of possession. To him, it is all about scoring as many points as possible. I think everyone would agree that defense does win championships, but it also helps when your offense can consistently put-up almost 30 points a game.
Another time-honored perception in the NFL is that a 10-win team does not trade away its starting quarterback and running back while letting its top receiver leave via free agency. Kelly has now decided to challenge this theory with offseason moves that have completely changed the complexion of this team. This made more than a few NFL experts scratch their heads in disbelief and I was guilty of joining that school of thought. Kelly has put character ahead of talent in certain cases because he knows you can win most of your games with talent, but you win championships with character.
I am going on record right now as becoming one of the biggest Chip Kelly fans out there. He makes these bold moves in what he honestly believes is in the best interest of his team. The ultimate goal of all 32 NFL teams is to win a Super Bowl, but he is one of the few guys in this league that is willing to put everything on the line to walk the walk to achieve this lofty goal.
Only time will tell if Kelly turns out to be the "Wizard of Broad Street" by bringing home a long awaited title, but the reason I have changed my entire perspective is the fact that he stands tall in his convictions by risking his reputation and career to get the job done. He knows he will eventually be run out of town if he pulls another "Andy Reid Show" by tempting the fans with one winning regular season after another only to come up short in the playoffs. I admire his defiant stance at times to push an unconventional agenda that is strictly designed to build a team that will take that final step to Super Bowl glory.