Will Chip Kelly’s Offense Work In The NFL? It Doesn’t Matter
Before we take a three-hour respite — otherwise known as the Fiesta Bowl — from the Chip-Kelly-to-the-NFL talk, let’s consider the overriding question in all this: Will his offense work in the NFL? The answer is obvious: It doesn’t matter.
The notion that Kelly is a one-trick pony who will bring a carbon copy of Oregon’s Blur offense to the NFL is absurd. Guess what: Kelly’s not going to go to the NFL have his quarterback to carry the ball 10 times a game by design.
Would Kelly’s read-option offense work in the NFL? Of course not. But what people should be talking about is what WILL work. Namely, the idea of running your offense faster than anybody else and of practicing the same way. Kelly won’t have the same plays in the NFL, but he will have the same philosophy. That’s the important part. If he can get NFL players to practice a mile-a-minute like his college teams, then he will be a rousing success.
See, the key to Chip Kelly’s success isn’t that he’s some sort of offensive football savant. It’s that his teams are impeccably prepared. Kelly is 45-7 in four years at Oregon. Six of those losses were to teams that combined to go 74-7 in the years they beat the Ducks; the other was to a 2009 Stanford team that started 4-3 before figuring things out.
In other words, in Oregon’s four years under Kelly the Ducks have not once lost to a team that was a huge surprise. There hasn’t been a single instance where they were unprepared and were knocked off by a middle-of-the-road team playing to save its season. That’s a testament to Oregon’s preparation, and that’s what will make Kelly a success in the NFL.