After the first half of his first game in the NFL, there were people ready to put Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly into the Hall of Fame. 8 games into the season, there is significant concern about his offensive scheme and many are suggesting it cannot work and he needs to go back to college. Kelly’s system is not the issue yet, but the quarterbacks running it have been a huge problem and none of them fit what that offense demands.
The Eagles are second in the league in rushing averaging 150.4 yards per game. For all of the people who were so sick of watching Andy Reid not use LeSean McCoy as a running threat enough are getting plenty and he is currently leading the league in rushing yards with 733, 98 yards ahead of Jamaal Charles who is second in the league. This was a huge part of why the offenses in Oregon were successful. They really liked to run the ball and use that to open options up in the passing game. That part of the equation is there and extremely successful. McCoy is the reason that Kelly went to Philadelphia. He is the prototype back for what he wants to do.
The passing game is the problem. Injuries have hurt including the loss of Jeremy Maclin, but the quarterback position has been extremely problematic. So many were in love with the idea that Michael Vick would be paired with Kelly and how great that would be because of his legs. Athleticism and mobility are a small part of what Kelly wants and needs from that position. The threat to run is useful, but not vital.
It is more important that he gets quick decision making and accuracy that allows their weapons to catch the run and get yards after the catch. Vick is poor at both of these areas. He is also reckless with his body and takes a ton of unnecessary hits which is how he ends up missing games every year. These are the reasons that Nick Foles was a legitimate contender for the starting job coming into the season.
The reality is the answer to the Eagles’ quarterback woes is not on the roster and Kelly knew that when he went into the situation. He has tried to make it work with Vick and Foles. They will continue to try to make it work with them for the rest of this season. After that, the Eagles are in search of the right quarterback to run their offense, which could include names such as Marcus Mariota and Johnny Manziel should they declare. Derek Carr is a name that could emerge among the seniors. It is too early to make a lasting decision about the Kelly scheme and their running game is great. They need the right quarterback to make it work.