Chip Kelly’s Vision: System Over Players

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has a very different vision for his football team then other coaches around the league. He has made many moves that are being scrutinized by players, coaches and fans alike.

A lot of players are becoming ‘leery’ of Chip Kelly’s vision. This is all in the wake of the trade that will send LeSean McCoy to Buffalo. In a report by Jason Cole on Bleacher Report, he went over what the rest of the league thinks of his moves,

In talking to players around the league about these moves, they were left a little leery of Chip Kelly, asking what exactly is he doing. It’s not just LeSean McCoy he traded, he’s let go of Todd Herremans, he’s let go of Cary Williams, he’s let go of Trent Cole. This is a year after he let go of DeSean Jackson.

All of a sudden players are going, “Does Chip Kelly value players in this league or does he value his own system?” And it’s basically, “Is he full of himself or does he understand it’s about talent?” So ultimately while the Eagles have about $50 million in cap space, you have to wonder if players are going to sit there and say, “I’m not sure I want to play for the Eagles because I’m not sure Chip Kelly is going to hold onto good players over the long run.”

This is all coming after the Eagles gave Chip Kelly control of player personnel in January. When Kelly was first hired as the Eagles head coach in 2013, Howie Roseman, the general manager, held control over player personnel and thus the roster.

These moves look to be Kelly’s way of putting his personal touches to the roster with his new control. Kelly is in the process of building a roster he sees fit for his future plans for the team and build the team the way he wants it.

Chip Kelly believes in his vision for his NFL team, system over players. That vision comes from his college career where players come and go, but many say that the NFL is about talent, and when you get it, you keep it. Kelly believes that he can take decent individual talent and turn it into a great team as a whole.

Creating a roster for the future involves making moves that would get ride of players that won’t be in the picture. Players like 32-year-olds like Todd Herremans and Trent Cole and 30-year-old Cary Williams.

Those three moves alone opened up $17.725 million in cap space. Instead of spending that money on those Eagle veterans who may not play much more after this season, they can spend it on young future players that will help build his team.

Although it seems strange to trade away arguably your team’s best player, it may be along the same train of thought as the other threes moves. He is entering his seventh season, which means he will have one or two seasons left and his elite-level if he follows the pattern of most NFL running backs, and this might be a strategic move to get more young talent in linebacker Kiko Alonso.

Alonso, 24, is still in his rookie contract meaning that he will be making $4.3 million over four years through 2016. He missed all of last season with a ACL injury but was third in the NFL in tackles is rookie season. As an added bonus, he joins eight other players that were coached by Kelly at the University of Oregon.

So looking at his moves this offseason, they may be less about his ego and his system, and more about building a roster for the future.

So what is next?

There are a lot of rumors about what is going to happen in Philadelphia the next few weeks.

One of the more popular rumors is these may be the beginning of transactions in the effort to pick up his former Oregon Duck quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Mariota is one of the two major quarterback prospects going into the 2015 draft. If this is the case, Kelly will most likely have to trade into the top four picks.

This may be a stretch but is entirely possible. Kelly seems to be fond of his former Ducks and Mariota would become the tenth Duck on the Eagles roster.

Is Kelly looking to get as many Oregon Ducks as he can? While Kelly was at Oregon, his offense was one of the most efficient in the country. When he brought his offensive scheme to the NFL his biggest challenge was to develop players into roles in his fast-pace offense. So it might not hurt getting as many of his former players as he can.

Another rumor is that the freed up cap space will allow Kelly to go after a big name free agent like Ndamukong Suh, DeMarco Murray, or Randall Cobb.

It seems unreasonable for Kelly to get rid of four of his highest paid players just to throw a huge chunk of money at one player, but his track record shows he is comfortable making unpopular decisions.

Only time will tell what is stirring around in Kelly’s mind but hopefully things pan out in Philadelphia.

Kevin Bridge

Owner at The Backfield Press
I am an undergraduate student at the University of Tennessee majoring in journalism and electronic media. I am the founder of The Backfield Press.