After firing longtime head coach Andy Reid following the 4-12 season, the Philadelphia Eagles’ front office had a tough challenge ahead of them in terms of finding the right coach to take over for Reid.
With Reid coaching the Eagles for the last 14 seasons, the Eagles organization put themselves into an unfamiliar situation that could easily turn into a disaster with the wrong choice made on the next head coach. The team immediately targeted and ultimately hired Oregon’s Chip Kelly and most believe it was the right choice, but few coaches on the college level have made the jump to the NFL and have been successful right out of the gate.
Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers is the recent exception leading his team to consecutive NFC Championship appearances immediately after leaving Stanford.
As for Kelly, the debate rages on in terms of whether or not his style of offense will work in the NFL.
Current 49ers running back and former Oregon star LaMichael James believes Kelly’s offense won’t miss a beat via Steve Corkran of Sporting News:
“It’s going to go good,” James said Wednesday amid preparation for the 49ers’ NFC championship game against the Atlanta Falcons. “Anytime you have a good quarterback and a mastermind as a coach like him, you can do numerous things. He’s always going to know the defensive weakness.”
James also believes that Michael Vick is the ideal quarterback for Kelly’s system via Corkran:
“It’s a perfect fit for him,” James said of Vick in Kelly’s offense.
It remains to be seen whether or not Kelly can make the transition to the NFL as seamlessly as Harbaugh did with the 49ers. History shows that college football coaches struggle regardless of their past successes and Kelly might prove that point once again, but his style of offense might also be a huge hit on the next level with the talent that he currently has in Philadelphia with Vick, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson.