The Armchair Quarterback Take Of The Week
Chip Kelly is a true innovator, but he’s going to run Michael Vick and Lesean McCoy into the ground.
When Chip Kelly made his NFL coaching debut on Monday night he took the NFL by storm. The question of wether or not Kelly would try to run his high octane Oregon offense in the pros was quickly answered as the Eagles ripped off 53 snaps in the first half. That’s more than the Carolina Panthers had in their entire first game. The Redskins looked shell shocked and when the Eagles came out in the second half and ran the lead up to 33-7 the entire NFL universe was swooning at Kelly’s feet.
Here’s the problem, it’s not sustainable.
Kelly is a genius and an innovator who may end up leaving a permanent mark on the NFL, but if he uses Michael Vick and Lesean McCoy in the same way in every game he will destroy them. Vick has a long list of injuries that have sidelined his career almost as much as his dogfighting activities. By the end of his first game under Kelly he was already limping around. Nick Foles may have a little upside, but when Vick goes down it will force Kelly to alter his entire game plan. Kelly needs a QB with a build more like Cam Newton if he is going to subject him to hits from NFL defenders on a regular basis. There may be more and more athletic QBs entering the league every year, but athletes like Cam Newton are a rare breed, especially ones that can play QB at the NFL level.
Then there is Lesean McCoy. McCoy may be one of the most talented players in the NFL. He’s a great weapon. However, at 5’11″ and 208 lbs you’re not talking about a guy that’s built to absorb 30+ touches per game. His previous career high for carries is only 273, and his career touches is 321. By the time Monday night’s game came to a close McCoy had 31 carries. If you averaged 31 carries over 16 games that would be 496 carries. That would shatter the record for carries in a season by 80 carries.
Does that seem like a good idea to anyone?
Even if McCoy was to stay healthy for 16 games while shouldering such a load, history shows that backs that carry the ball that many times don’t last long in the NFL. McCoy is only 25 years old and should have another 4-5 years of being a key player for Philly. Kelly has to realize that this isn’t college where he’s running a 19 year old kid that’s going to graduate in a year or two. These are players that organizations invest millions of dollars in.
In order for the frantic pace of Kelly’s Oregon teams to work full time in the NFL he is going to need a bigger and sturdier QB to absorb punishment and a stable of talented running backs to split the work load. Until he has that, he had better adjust his strategy. Otherwise he’s going to find himself trying to run the spread with Nick Foles and Bryce Brown as the key players, and I’m guessing that won’t work out quite as well.
Now on to this week’s game predictions…..
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