Chip Kelly? Really? The Chargers are about to finish a season in which they were a trendy Super Bowl pick with a 4-12 record and, if you believe reports, fire head coach Mike McCoy. They need a new leader, a new culture, and more than a few new players, but does that make Chip Kelly the answer? Not in my book, it doesn't.
Before you start lighting candles and praying for the Chargers to hire Chip Kelly, now might be a good time for me to remind you why you want McCoy fired so badly. The strategic shortcomings are glaring, but he's also completely out of touch and fundamentally opposed to taking any chances whatsoever on the football field. Add to that the fact that he struggles to relate to his players, seems unwilling to adjust his system to fit his players, and patently refuses to hold his veterans accountable for poor play, and you have a coach who simply doesn't get it.
With that out of the way, let's get back to Kelly who, in case you forgot, was fired this week. But hey, why not settle for the Eagles' sloppy seconds? This is, after all, the same ownership that hired Kevin Gilbride, Mike Reilly Norv Turner and, yes, Mike McCoy. I'll tell you why - because Chip Kelly is a slightly shinier version of the turd that is Mike McCoy.
Yeah, you read that right - turd. Aside from his relative celebrity, most of which is based on his work in the college ranks, there is very little difference between Chip Kelly and Mike McCoy. They're both disasters where it matters most and the argument could be made that Chip is the much bigger disaster based on how things unfolded in Phildelphia. His offense might look exciting and sexy, but everything else about him is a giant red flag.
The biggest red flag in the Chip Kelly saga is his ability, or inability, to work with others - players and suits alike. This is a man who, just last year, stabbed long-time Eagles' GM Howie Roseman in the back when he set his sights on assuming control of personal decisions. Roseman had been the GM since 2005 and was at least partially responsible for hiring Kelly, but that didn't stop the man from snaking his job. Fast forward one year and he literally chose to take his ball and home over relinquishing his authority to a new GM. Nothing like leading by example, huh?
Then there is the way he deals with his players. While I don't subscribe to the notion that Kelly is a racist, it is painfully evident that he, at the very least, struggles connecting with and relating to his players. At worst he has no regard for them whatsoever, as evidenced by the way he treated and eventually discarded long time Eagles such as DeSean Jackson and Lesean McCoy. Whether the allegations are true or not, the fact that former players felt the need to question his motives for treating him as he did at least bears serious consideration.
Stop me if you've heard this before...Chip Kelly never figured out how to use marquee free agent running back DeMarco Murray in his offensive scheme. After signing him to a five-year, $42M contract last offseason, Kelly asked Murray, a physical, downhill runner, to run laterally on a regular basis and Murray saw his snap counts and touches gradually decrease before finally being benched altogether. Things got so bad that Murray felt the need to approach Eagles' owner Jeffrey Lurie about his role on the team, which only further buried him in Chip's doghouse.
Last but certainly not least, the Chargers already run a watered down version of Kelly's offense. You know, that disjointed, rhythmless, shotgun system that worked so brilliantly in 2015...yeah, Kelly runs the same offense with one big exception - he asks his quarterbacks to move the pocket on a regular basis. That means more shot gun running plays, more offensive linemen playing in reverse, more A-gap blitzes the line can't handle, and probably another season of 30-40 sacks for Philip Rivers; which says nothing of the non-sack hits he will continue to absorb.
So, to recap, Chargers fans are desperate for the team to fire Mike McCoy. Of course, they want to fire a head coach who has proven himself to be out of touch, strategically inept, unable to relate to anyone and incapable of putting his players in a position to succeed so they can hire Chip Kelly; an out of touch ego maniac who can't work with or relate to others, refuses to adjust his scheme to fit his players, and runs an offense which, by all accounts, would get Philip Rivers killed. Yeah...that makes total sense.
At the risk of offending, even when Chargers fans think they know what they want, the don't really know what they're asking for. Not only is Chip Kelly not the answer, he's an even bigger problem than Mike McCoy. If you think the culture is bad now, it would only get worse with Kelly who, as far as I can tell, doesn't feel the need to explain his decisions to anyone, let alone his players (sound familiar?). So, in the giving spirt of the holidays, I've decided to offer the invaluable public service of smacking anyone who wants to hire Kelly upside the head, and the line starts right here..