Dungy suspects Wilson, Kaepernick helped change Chip Kelly’s mind


Last week, Chip Kelly was adamant that he had decided to stay at Oregon rather than leave for the NFL. Yesterday, Kelly announced that he has decided to leave to coach the Eagles. So what changed?

Tony Dungy, the former Buccaneers and Colts coach whose son plays at Oregon, has a theory: Kelly watched the playoffs last weekend and became more convinced than ever that his offense can work in the NFL.

“I know all the players and everyone around the University of Oregon was shocked,” Dungy said on the Dan Patrick Show. “They wouldn’t have been shocked if it had happened 12 days ago because Chip had said, ‘Hey, I’m going to take a look at these things.’ And I talked to him at that time, we talked about a few things about NFL football versus college football and that kind of thing. And I was convinced he had decided to stay. He just thought he was in a great situation and I thought that was that. But I have a guess. And I could be wrong, I don’t know, it’s just a guess. But I’ll ask you, Dan: Could it be that Chip Kelly watched the playoffs and watched Russell Wilson run a little bit of his read option in the spread offense, and watched Colin Kaepernick run a little bit more of it?”

Dungy added that he thinks Kelly watched the playoffs thinking, “My offense is way farther advanced than that, and maybe if this is going through the NFL, it might not be so tough.”

In Dungy’s view, Kelly didn’t jump for more money because Nike founder and Oregon booster Phil Knight was willing to spend whatever it took to keep Kelly. And Dungy doesn’t believe that looming NCAA sanctions convinced Kelly to leave, either.

“I don’t think it’s money at all,” Dungy said. “Nike has as much as anybody. I don’t think it’s sanctions — from what I know of everything that’s going on there, I really think it’s strictly football and vision and making this work in the NFL and seeing if I can compete against the best.”

Now Kelly will see — after Wilson and Kaepernick already showed him that spread concepts can be employed effectively in the NFL.

58 responses to “Dungy suspects Wilson, Kaepernick helped change Chip Kelly’s mind

  1. I am curious to see what happens with these young QB’s and this style of play. In previous years running QB’s have come in and experienced initial success, but then defensive coordinators see how they react to different situations and draw up plans that elicit poor decisions. In the past, running qb’s have not then adjusted to these adjustments made to their personal gameplay style and have regressed after the first year or so. I am very curious to see if any of these guys actually make the adjustments to the adjustments and have long term success.

  2. It’s so dependent on personnel. If you have a great O-Line, runningback and a big physical quarterback you can get away with it, for a little while.

    But if you have a non mobile qb like Foles, a not so great O-Line, then it won’t work.

    Even with the big physical runningback like Kaepernick, all it takes is one ill timed slide, one blindside hit, and now you’re playing the backup.

    Hey if it gets you to the Superbowl then it’s worth it though.

  3. Not sure any coach could watch two football games and decide his future based solely on that. However, I do agree the NFL is involving, and portions of Kelly’s offense will do well, IF they can find a QB to run it. As much as I hate to admit it, Michael Vick may actually be that QB.

  4. Dungy’s son is on the team, as to him actually playing in a game…., well that is another matter all together.

  5. I think the only way the running QB works is if the QB is smart about taking hits. Russell Wilson, for example, almost never took a direct hit– getting out of bounds, sliding, taking glancing shots from DBs instead of direct hits from LBs. Go ahead and slide after taking seven yards on first down rather than taking a hit for an extra one or two yards.

    RGIII is far more gifted that RW, but RGIII is having another surgery, while RW is healthy and preparing for next year. IF QBs run like RW instead of RGIII the system might work.

  6. COLLIN IS MORE THEN A HAIR BETTER THEN BABY WILSON… Wilson can’t even see over the line.. Kaep is a hair faster and throws the ball a whole lot better.. All around better playmaker!! And all around we are a better team then the Seahawks!!! Suck it up SEAHAWKS fans.. Have fun watching us this weekend.. ITS OUT TIME!! GO NINERS

  7. What do you mean, he was “adamant” about staying at Oregon? He never said anything about staying. The Oregon AD made the comment. Somehow you turn that into not only Kelly himself making the statement, but characterizing it as “adamant.”

    What he HAS said is that he’s not just going to run his Oregon offense in the NFL. So Dungy is wrong. Kelly has said he would adapt his offense to the personnel he has. I would expect to see something more along the lines of the New England offense than San Fran or Seattle or Washington.

  8. Kelly could do well with his offensive schemes in the NFL – especially in the first couple of years until defenses figure him out.

    Does he have the talent in Philly to pull it off?
    That’s the question..

  9. It’s great to look at Russell and Wilson (and even RG3 to some extent) and think your offense can work in the NFL. But it’s fools gold. Because how often do you get guys like these 3 who can throw in addition to being able to run? Usually you get guys like Denard Robinson that can run but can’t pass. Also, the 49ers don’t just live on their offense but also their defenses. In fact, one could say the lack of a good defense is what kill RG3 because he kept having to do so much to overcome the holes the defense left the team in. Seattle and 49ers have much better defenses and thus played deeper into the playoffs than RG3.

  10. Just two years ago everyone was raving about Cam Newton and how his style would ever be stopped. Two years later Cam is just another good QB. Point being, defenses will figure out how to defense the kaepernicks and Wilson’s just like Cam. Griffins athletic ability has already been mitigated by the injury.

  11. Hey for all the negative people, I am a eagles fan and ticket holder. We needed a fresh change and we just got it. Kelly will energize this franchise and is a game day coach. My feeling is he gets us to the playoffs and once we’re there who knows. Wilson was drafted in the 3rd round, our first 2 picks are the best available player and then we look for the running QB if necessay. My guess we cut vick and let him test the waters and then he finds out 3 million a year looks pretty good has back up here

  12. I think there is something that is being missed here. When u say in the past “Running QB’s” had success early those guys just scrambled. These are designed runs with up to 4 guys blocking in front. This is not Vick just ducking and running. If you do that u get killed. These designed runs are really not that risky at all.

  13. Baymac, no need for quarterback comparisons here, I sure enjoyed watching kapperdick run in circles in Seattle when we throttled you guys.. I will laugh my ass off when Atlanta sends you packing… Back to the gay area, where the Vaginers belong!

  14. I tend to agree with those above who’ve noted that whether this offense can work hinges completely on the personnel you have. As coach Shanahan has done with RG3 and coach Carroll with Wilson, if you’ve got a player with special skills and talents, you adapt your coaching and offense (or defense) to that, not the other way ’round.

  15. I like how this is said like these guys grow on trees. Kaepernick and Wilson are exceptional rare talents. Not just running qb’s. Both look to stay in the pocket first on pass plays and can beat you with short or long passes as well as their running ability. They are also very cerebral players that make some mistakes but will only get better. The next breed would be RG3 and Newton. Both probably more physically gifted but neither play as smart either. RG3 is reckless like vick but he is a much better passer. Cam too self absorbed. Point is I don’t see a Wilson, Kaepernick, RG3, or Cam just laying around that could run this system for Chip. Vick won’t last a month in it nor could he be as effective. Foles can’t run it at all

  16. I suppose you could say his offense might work as long as he starts the season with 2 or 3 QB’s with better than average running ability and at least marginal passing skills (which pretty much sums up Kaepernick and Wilson) because very few of these guys are ever going to play a full season. The injury rates are just too high. And basically this is a gimmick offense that will be ineffective next year as defenses get coached up to stop it. Anybody remember “Wildcat”? That being said, I’m surprised that no team uses a “change of pace” QB in certain situations (3rd and 20, etc). These guys would be perfect for that.

  17. The problem with previous running QB’s were they were seriously handicapped when it came to throwing the football. Wilson, RG3, Luck and CK7 appear to be able to throw quite well. Big difference.

  18. I’m hoping the Eagles suck this year, so they can draft Bridgewater next year, who will be a perfect fit for Chip Kelly and this offense.

    *Crosses Fingers for Bridgewater*

  19. I like that Wilson and CK7 throw well and run well, too. But I LOVE the fact that those two seem to know when NOT to run and dont put themselves in as dangerous a situation as RG3 amd Mike Vick do.

  20. Dungy may be on to something here. The thing is, the rules of the NFL and the skills of the QBs coming out of college are now conspiring to make running the spread, or read option, offense feasible in the NFL. Legislating against hard hits and strengthening the rules that defenses must abide by is making it less dangerous for QBs to run this offense. Also, analyzing so called “running quarterbacks” from the past shows that virtually all of them had weaknesses in their ability to either throw the football, read defenses, or perform as pocket passers when needed (you can’t run all the time). The current crop of young QBs (Russell, RG3, Kaepernick) is showing that they are coming out of college now with a full range of skills and intelligence needed to make it work at the NFL level. This may be precisely why Chip Kelly backtracked and decided to come to the NFL, when he was not comfortable before. The offense is here to stay and will evolve further in the NFL with proponents, and the actual authors, of the offense coming into the NFL.

  21. You know, I used to love Tony Dungy. But since he has gone into broadcasting he has turned into just another hypocrite. For example, I remember him clearly tearing apart the “spread option” and how it would never, ever work at the NFL level. Now, he loves it? He has no problem ripping Tebow in the read option…hey, Tony, Tebow damn near invented that style. He certainly was most influencial in bringing it to the forefront.

    Give credit where credit is due…

  22. I think Russel Wilson will be fine. He seems to move around more to by time then actually taking off and running. AL with the colts and RT will also be ok. I have some concerns with KP and RG3

  23. I’m done listening to Tony Dungy. It seems like he cares too much about the interest and feelings of his friends and really doesn’t provide any unbiased analysis. He’s a great guy, but the networks need to stop paying him for being a mouthpiece for “his guys”… or at least label it what it is.

  24. Cut the shine-ola. Chip took the Eagles job because he got wind of the sanctions that were coming down on oregon. Betcha there are lotz of telephone calls to Pete Carroll for advise.

  25. In the past these running QB’s weren’t great passers. With the training they get, that’s no longer true. As Simms said, CK would be an elite prospect with his arm along. Ditto Wilson, RGIII, etc.

  26. stevedurbano says:

    I assuming you watched the Seahawks this year. So, you know that Wilson doesn’t need to take a back seat to Luck or any other rookie out there throwing the football

  27. Read Option, NFL Defences will find a way to stop it or at least slow it down. It is fun to watch but it may go the way of the Chuck and Duck (Run And Shoot) I could be wrong (most of the time I am)

  28. Can an Eagles fan comment on this?

    It seemed like the Eagles ran the shotgun read-option in 2010 with some success. Now what I don’t know, is if Vick was actually doing the “read” part, or how often it was run.

    It also seemed like teams figured it out at the end of the year by maintaining discipline. I mean the Joe Webb led Vikings beat them at the end of 2010.

    Vick did not have the pure QB skills that the younger guys do, but he was very good that year…but teams figured it out.

  29. I don’t think Wilson, Kaep, RG3 and Cam are running QB’s as much as they are QB with the ability to beat you with arm or legs. Read option can be stopped but each of those guys can stand in the pocket and make any pass accurately with one less pass rusher or one less in coverage. The fact that each can run makes defenses to pick their poison. This is not the same as the Wild Cat.

  30. FWIW at his introductory press conference, Kelly was asked about implementing the Oregon offense in the NFL and he said he is open to developing an offense to fit the personnel he has, and, it doesn’t matter how points are scored. Of course time will tell, but it sounded encouraging that he is not a one-trick pony.

  31. hor2012- Do you really think Wilson has a long career ahead of him? He had a nice 10 game season, but do you really think he was responsible for that and not Lynch? Come on, the Seahawks had a really good defense and what looked like a one- dimensional offense- he was able to exploit that. Great for him, he was able to do it. But long term? No way. If defenses aren’t worried about Lynch then Wilson spends more time time on his ass than I do (and I spend a lot of time on my ass).

  32. If you get a Manning or Luck you build your offense around them. If you get Wilson or Cam you build your offense around him. It’s not rocket science.

    Chip Kelly will build an offense around Foles’ strengths unless he finds someone else.

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