If anyone knows what it takes to succeed in Philadelphia, it's former head coach Dick Vermeil. The first coach to guide the Eagles to an appearance in the Super Bowl, Vermeil finished his seven-year tenure third in franchise history with 57 regular season and playoff wins.
Vermeil was a guest on NFL Network's Super Bowl Live and was asked whether he thought new head coach Chip Kelly would be able to succeed in the City of Brotherly Love after an outstanding four-year run as Oregon's head coach.
"I think he'll do well," Vermeil said. "It's an intense market. It's a passionate market. He has great coaching abilities. He's already demonstrated that. Whether he'll run the exact same offense, I doubt, but variations of it. He'll bring a whole process to Philadelphia."
Kelly ran an aggressive up-tempo spread offense that averaged nearly 50 points per game (49.6) in 2012. Kelly’s four-year scoring average with the Ducks was 44.7 points per contest. Elements of Kelly's Oregon offense have been used by a number of teams including the NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers. Vermeil said the reason Kelly won't be able to simply copy and paste his offense in the NFL is personnel.
"The kind of players it takes to run it and how many quarterbacks you have that can do those things and stay healthy because he is going to get hit," Vermeil said. "They get hit enough throwing the ball in the pocket and scrambling on a broken play on a pass, but let alone now designed runs and options."
It should be noted that not even Kelly plans to do the same things he did in college. Kelly is not about just one scheme. He will study the personnel he has and adapt which will be important. Defensive coordinators certainly have taken note of the success that quite a few NFL teams had with the spread and the zone read this year and will study how to stop it this offseason.
"I think it's a tremendous contribution to the offenses of the future, but I think we have to give the defensive coordinators more credit," Vermeil said. "Next year, it'll be tougher to do the same things well that you did this year. Those guys are good coaches and they will slow it down."
It will be interesting to see what Kelly will present as the next move as head coach of the Eagles in 2013.
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