Oregon head coach Chip Kelly is now expected to make the jump to the NFL after the end of the college football season. He has revolutionized college football and is one of the hottest coaching prospects on the radar this year. Now it’s being reported that Kelly will want complete control of personnel decision making with any team he joins next season. Will a NFL franchise be willing to give him that kind of power?
Kelly was inches away from taking the head coaching job last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but backed away at the last minute, returning to the University of Oregon. This season, with issues surrounding the university, the jump to the next level seems inevitable.
There are questions as to whether or not Kelly’s high octane offense will work in the NFL or whether it will become another gimmick. I happen to think that he will be successful in the NFL. Kelly is a very smart football coach and he can adapt his offense to fit the next level, but he will need to have the personnel in place in order to become successful.
Kelly has been linked to two NFL teams currently- the Philadelphia Eagles and the Carolina Panthers. As Don Banks of SI.com writes, the transition of Kelly to Philadelphia might not be a good fit. The Eagles front office is not likely to surrender the power that Kelly reportedly wants while QB Nick Foles is not the type of quarterback that fits his scheme.Would the Eagles be willing to absorb the salary number of Michael Vick next season in order to give Kelly a mobile quarterback?
Carolina might be the perfect fit for Kelly. The front office is in flux with the franchise employing an interim general manager. Head coach Ron Rivera has underachieved this season. QB Cam Newton has all the traits that Kelly needs in a quarterback for his offense.
It is going to be a risky proposition for whichever team decides to roll the dice on Chip Kelly and yield the type of power he reportedly is looking for. If Kelly fails, the decision to select him could set a franchise back 5-7 years. If he succeeds, the owner of the franchise that took the risk will look like a genius.