Welcome to Women's World. Brandyn Campbell is the founder, editor and writer of the Philly Sports Muse. Every Thursday, Campbell will offer a unique perspective as she shares her passion for the Eagles ...
Uncertainty, curiosity and reserved enthusiasm marked the feelings of Eagles fans in the offseason regarding new head coach Chip Kelly. His accomplishments at Oregon were legendary and a key reason that landing him was such a coup. But would how would his scheme translate to the NFL? It was the question biggest question that surrounded the team on the local and national stage all offseason.
Through OTAs and Training Camp, the questions remained, but the excitement mounted. Everything was just so different under Kelly. And it wasn't just the Xs and Os. It was the smoothies. The loud music. The playlists. No one knew what it meant for the season, but the entirely fresh approach was embraced.
Following the Week 1 victory in Kelly's NFL debut over the Washington Redskins, it seemed that Kelly was living up to the hype. He was changing the face of the NFL. Would defenses ever be able to keep pace with the Eagles again, we wondered?
After a long offseason of not knowing what to think of or expect from the new head coach, Eagles fans were collectively on Cloud Nine. If the remainder of the season matched the thrill of Week 1, what a season it would be!
But the reality of the challenges of professional football crept in the following week. The seemingly unstoppable offense was not able to get in the same rhythm against the San Diego Chargers.
"That's it!" some exclaimed. "NFL defenses now have tape on what Kelly is doing in the NFL. They have figured him out!"
Or …not. If Chip Kelly, regarded as an offensive mastermind by many in the college and professional ranks, revealed all that he can or plans to do in just one game, then we'd be in big trouble. Thankfully, that is not the case.
After three weeks of the season and the biggest challenge yet coming on Sunday versus Peyton Manning and the 3-0 Broncos in the Mile High City, perhaps a moment to recalibrate our expectations of Kelly and this Eagles team is in order.
Let's remind ourselves of what we already know. This is a young team, with Mike Vick being the oldest non-special teams member of the team at 33. It's an entirely new coaching staff installing entirely new schemes, necessitating a learning curve even for the team's veterans. And Kelly and many in his staff are experiencing their own adjustment from coaching at the college to the professional level.
None of these realities are excuses. Success is still expected and can be achieved. But what ultimately marks success for this team?
Kelly noted following last week's loss to the Chiefs that most of the issues were due to "self-inflicted wounds." Committing five turnovers is not how you win games in the NFL. Not to take anything away from Kansas City, but the Eagles defeated themselves as much more than they were defeated by their opponent.
That electric offense is still there. The talent and explosiveness of the likes of Vick, DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Brent Celek, Jason Avant, Riley Cooper and others hasn't gone away. So the buzz should remain. And what will make that grow is seeing, even in losses, that the team is learning from its mistakes. With thirteen games remaining in the season, there is plenty of time to do that.
Kelly views each week as a season unto itself. What happened last week has no bearing on the present. Once this game is in the books, its outcome does not impact on what happens in the following week. It's a healthy attitude for both Eagles players and fans.
An improved performance by the defense provided some encouragement in the loss to the Chiefs. The Eagles are a young team and so long as we see them learning, growing and improving, we have every reason to remain excited about this coach, this team and the possibilities for this year as well as future seasons.
Three games is not enough for any defense, nor any Eagles fan, to figure out Chip Kelly. There are no definitive answers at this early stage about what he will do in any given scenario. He's got many more tricks up his sleeve. Watching what Kelly has planned unfold and progress throughout the season is the reason to hang on to that thrill we experienced following Week 1. The energy and talent of both the team's coaching staff and its roster continue to make the possibilities for this team exciting. As Kelly has often stated, winning games in the NFL is not easy. So long as lessons are learned in each game - both the wins and the losses - we're going to have a season to enjoy as it unfolds.
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