Ron Jaworski: Chip Kelly’s Oregon offense won’t work in the NFL


New Eagles coach Chip Kelly has said he can adjust his style and run a different system in the NFL than he ran at Oregon. Former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski says he’ll have to.

Jaworski, who analyzes film in his work with ESPN, said on 97.5 The Fanatic that Kelly, who has no NFL experience at all, is much more likely to adjust his offense to the realities of the NFL than to revolutionize the NFL by bringing his spread offense to the next level.

“It’s going to be interesting to see if this style of offense projects to the NFL,” Jaworski said, via “I’m going to say no.”

Jaworski says there are fundamental differences between the way Oregon could exploit weaker defenses in college and the way an NFL defense would attack an offense like Kelly’s.

“It’s easy to say, ‘Yeah, it worked in college,’” he said. “But then I looked at a game like Stanford. Stanford, a good defensive football team, shut them down. I hope it works. I like the innovation, but I think it’s going to be very difficult. The NFL is a different league with fast players that have all week to prepare for you. At the collegiate level, you have 20 hours to prepare for that Oregon offense. Take out three hours of game time. You’ve got 17 hours in the course of a week to practice and prepare for that style of offense. It kills you in college. But in the NFL, these guys work 17 hours a day. A day, not a week – 17 hours a day getting ready, so there’s no secrets.”

Kelly’s system will certainly be different in the NFL than it was at Oregon. The question is how different. If Jaworski is right, it will need to be very different.

82 responses to “Ron Jaworski: Chip Kelly’s Oregon offense won’t work in the NFL

  1. Vick won’t make it past week 4 in this offense, he’ll be pitching his teeth after pitching the ball.

  2. And yet the Patriots used it for parts of games last year and made teams cry about they’re going to fast it’s not fair. It might not work against some but it will against most who don’t have the discipline to get ready before the snap.

  3. Not an Eagles fan, but I don’t think Kelly has any intention of bringing that exact offense to the NFL. I think people will be surprised how traditional it looks. My 2 cents.

  4. This time last year I’d have laughed if you’d told me the zone read would work against NFL defenses.

  5. @ johndont

    There is no doubt that TT has some athletic ability but his last five starts in Denver, he led them to a 1 – 4 record including a 45 – 10 loss to NE. His QBR in that game was 12.8 and his rating was 52.7 so let’s not go all slurpy…

    Back to the article, it will be an interesting season in Philly but I am predicting a last place finish in the NFC East for them.

  6. Chip Kelly wouldn’t have hired Pat Shurmur to be his Offensive Coordinator if he planned to run the exact same offense in the NFL. What Kelly is going to do is run a very, very fast offense. 12 seconds between plays with no huddles… ever! That will drive defenses nuts and will require adjustments. But let’s ignore the obvious.

  7. I don’t think for one second that Kelly is “delusional” to the fact that things will need to change drastically for him to be successful at the NFL level. I’m not a big Pete caroll guy, but he was able to make the transition, and when he had a good enough QB in Wilson, their Offense was spectacular. So in my humble opinion, this all rests on Mike Vick (Barkley???) being more 2010 than 2012, the upgraded line should help a ton.
    Also, when guys like Bellichek are going to Oregon to “learn” from Kelly, you know this guy is a borderline “genius”. So I think he will be just fine.

  8. He has to make it work, he can’t return to college coaching with the NCAA looking for him. But he’s a smart guy, so I’m guessing he will adapt enough to be competitive.

  9. Have any of you ever listened to Jaworski? Watch a terrible analysts. At least I don’t have to hit the mute button on Prime Time games with Jaws-non-sense and Gruden calling every player on the field “the best”. Not an Eagles fans but Chip Kelly has said on multiple occasions he would adapt his scheme to his players.

  10. Traditionalists will be late to the game. They will be surprised how fast the game is evolving into organized chaos, where SPEED eclipses brute size and strength.

    Doesn’t Ron know that the NFL is becoming a very expensive brand of flag football? The ultraconservative NFL, is and has been incorporating portions of Kelly’s and college football’s offensives for a few years. It’s just escalating at a faster clip.

    Rosters are going for smaller, faster players at all positions, including QB. Those who can’t keep up will be left behind. Ron, that includes analysts.

  11. The space between NFL hashes is +/- 7 yards wider than the space between NCAA hashes, a big reason the college style option never made the leap. In a spread or option offense in the NCAA, calling plays that generally end outside the hashes lets you snap the ball with much more open space to the wide side than in the NFL. Faster defenders with less ground to cover killed the true option offense in the NFL, and I would guess will do the same to a true college spread.

  12. I’m not sure how jaws can make that statement.
    Is he naive enough to believe that the Eagles team will be a 100% replica of the Oregon team??

    How can a former player doubt the philosophies of
    vigorous conditioning, size + strength mismatches,
    a rotational RB stable, and an up tempo offense that catches the defense off guard.

    Couple that with a defensive philosophy of “big people beat up little people” and i’m fully behind the Chipster..

    With the plays being run so quickly, we won’t have to worry about the clock running out on 1st and 10.
    We may be lucky enough to even have a few time outs left at the end of the half

    8-8 or better. book it.

  13. craigjosh says: May 22, 2013 11:04 AM

    I don’t think for one second that Kelly is “delusional” to the fact that things will need to change drastically for him to be successful at the NFL level. I’m not a big Pete caroll guy, but he was able to make the transition,

    Pete Caroll was an NFL head coach twice before. He also ran a pro-style offense at USC. Not a good comparison!

  14. I still don’t get why people are assuming Kelly’s offense will be exactly like it was in Oregon. He’s already said he’s adjusting things for how the NFL works.

    I think what wants the most is to play the game at a similar pace like he did in Oregon. To wear out defenses with how many plays they can do in a short amount of time.

  15. johndont says:
    May 22, 2013 10:47 AM
    If Tim Tebow can make it work, then it works, don’t question the spread, it works. Done.
    Tebow ran a completely different offense from Oregon, and he was successful for 7 games and now out of the league. keep trying to learn about football

  16. No offense will work with a human turnover machine like Vick or a defense that can’t tackle.

  17. I think that drafting Matt Barkley is a pretty good indicator that Chip Kelly doesn’t plan to run the same offense he did at Oregon. He’ll use atypical signal calling and keep the tempo up, but otherwise he’ll only use elements of the read option to keep defenses honest — similar to the 49ers this year.

  18. craigjosh says:
    May 22, 2013 11:04 AM
    I don’t think for one second that Kelly is “delusional” to the fact that things will need to change drastically for him to be successful at the NFL level. I’m not a big Pete caroll guy, but he was able to make the transition, and when he had a good enough QB in Wilson, their Offense was spectacular. So in my humble opinion, this all rests on Mike Vick (Barkley???) being more 2010 than 2012, the upgraded line should help a ton.
    Also, when guys like Bellichek are going to Oregon to “learn” from Kelly, you know this guy is a borderline “genius”. So I think he will be just fine.
    If this is what you are going on , the Eagles are screwed. Vick is one of the least intelligent QBs to ever play in the NFL, while Wilson is one of the most intelligent who has already mastered 3 different offensive schemes since entering college. Oregon QBs do not perform well in the NFL even though they are good in College. It’s just like looking for a Texas Tech QB to succeed. Have fun in the bottom of the division with the Skins once IRG3 goes down

  19. Give the guy a chance.
    Who says he has to have the same exact offense he used in college – maybe certain aspects of it will translate to the NFL.

  20. Kelly and his Eagles will also have 17 hours a day to prepare his offense to score against NFL defenses.

  21. Ron J is prolly right, but he also said last year that Andy Reid’s offense was going to the playoffs. Just saying.

  22. Chip doesn’t care either way as long as he’s out of the NCAA’s reach like Pete Carroll.

  23. Duh. The Oregon offense is predicated on superior athleticism and conditioning. You’re not going to find a large disparity in those areas between NFL teams.

  24. Funny coming from Jaws. Last I recall, his head coach was a college coach during Jaws’ best years.

  25. As a Giants’ fan, I hope Jaws is right. However, as much time as these coaches put in, none of them did much good against the read option.

  26. The Eagles were a mess when Chip showed up. No matter what kind of offense he runs it will take him more than one year to fix the mess.

  27. I’m not an Eagles fan but didn’t Jaworski make the same broad statement against the Redskins, Seahawks and 49’ers?

    By the way, the Patriots have run an unconventional offense for several years and teams haven’t really figured it out yet, despite having so much time (years in fact) to prepare.

  28. Seriously Eagles fans? trying to prove this guys worth by saying Bill Belichek went to visit him while at Oregon..umm doesn’t coach Belichek have a gut named Tom Brady on his team?? I don’t think any of the qbs in the eagles history, let alone their roster are a Tom Brady. Then u got some ppl on here saying that it won’t be the sane style of offense from Oregon..umm isnt that y they hired him? To bring a new innovative ofdese to the league? Not a watered down version? Gimmie a break..I mean let’s say the Eagles score 30pts a game with this offense, are u saying that the defense that is replacing the entire secondary, moving career long DEs to OLBs & switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4 won’t be giving up 35 a game? bmBe serious with ourselves ppl

  29. So I guess Chip took some time out of his busy schedule, sat down with Jaws, and told him the type of offense he’s gonna run?

    To early to speculate Jaws…

  30. If only coach Kelly had had the foresight to put big, fast, NFL caliber players on his team to compensate for the bigger, faster NFL defenses he’ll end up facing.


  31. Jaws and Hoge make too many comments containing “never” & “always”.
    Bitter about not getting the GM job, Jaws?

  32. Assume the Eagles made it work. Assume they ran a ridiculously high speed offense. Assume they were able to put points on the board. The logic is that they would kill a D with their speed, right? You know what else kills a defensive unit? When an offense gets off the field too quick and they are right back out there. And let’s be real folks- this is not a top 5, 15 or maybe even top 20 D. They will give up points. They will get winded. I mean Cary Williams alone with his “10yds off the reciever” style of play will give up at least 14 a game alone. This alleged super high speed offense would only kill their defense.

    By the way folks- the wildcat worked for one season. People expected it to come back big the following year and it fell flat. That said, we’ve seen ONE SEASON of this read-option under Kapernick, RG3 and Wilson. Let’s see how they fare in their second season before declaring it a success. I’m thinking it regresses.

  33. There’s a reason why Chip Kelly is a head coach and Ron Jaworski is in the booth. To assume that Chip is going to translate his collegiate offense to the NFL is absurd. The guy isn’t a robot. He has a staff of NFL capable coaches that will adjust, re-tune change the offense to suit the spacing / speed / matchup issues to create advantages.

    I reject this idea.

  34. I always thought Gus Malzhan was a better offensive mind than Chip Kelly. Gus Malzhan had offenses that dominated the SEC. When he was at Auburn there would be snaps when the the defense was outnumbered because one or two players would be catching their breaths during a play.

    Chip Kelly’s offense was hell against the PAC 10, but against teams like LSU and Auburn…… Not so much.

  35. exploiting matchups, putting playmakers in space, and running a balanced yet unpredictable offense?

    yeah, that would never work.

  36. What the hell does Jaws know? I mean really, didn’t he say the same thing about Steve Spurrier’s ‘fun and gun’? Did you see the Redskins that preseason?? They lit up everyone, undefeated!!! Bah, this guy does not know what he is talking about!

  37. I’m not saying I think he can bring his college offense to the NFL and be successful, but this is some pretty crappy reasoning by Jaws. It wont work because they can prepare for 17 hours a day? If that’s all it takes, why doesn’t it apply to stopping Belichick’s offense and why don’t we see 0-0 games every week?

  38. So His offense wont work in the NFL because they had 1 bad game against Stanford? What about the year before when they dropped 53 points against a better Stanford team. Or scoring 62 against USC who everyone had ranked in the top 5 to start the season. Or scoring 35 against Kansas State who had one of the best Defenses in college and were ranked #1 2 weeks prior. Or destroying Wisconsin in the 2012 rose bowl that had NFL talent on roster like Russell Wilson and JJ Watt. Its unfair to forget about a team that had the best offense im college football for 7 years because of 1 bad game.

  39. Kelly was also working with college level talent with a few NFL prospects. He’ll have NFL level talent matched against NFL talent. The redskins did fine with the read option last season.

    Also Stanford was ranked #13 last year when they played them. Oregon only scored 14

    2011 Stanford #4 – Final score Oregon 53 Stanford 30

    2010 Stanford #9 – Final score Oregon 52 Stanford 31

  40. Thanks Ron for telling the truth. When the rest of us say it won’t work, we are called haters.

    This article focuses on how much time defenses have to prepare but not only that, in college Chip usually had a speed and athletic advantage over most opponents. The NFL is a much more level playing field.

  41. well the read option has worked for a quarterback with no arm, 3 QB’s that couldn’t change a lightbulb if you gave them a step ladder and removed the bulb before hand, so why not?

  42. I think every good coach adjusts their own schemes on a weekly basis in the NFL as it is and Kelly will be no different. He’ll simply have to have NFL flavor mixed in with his direction. I think most of the time, we’ll see the up-tempo and speed more than anything when it comes to certain packages and looks. Up-tempo is going to be Philly’s game.

  43. I saw “30 for 30,” Jaws is lucky the Eagles didn’t draft Marino and end his sad career early. The guy is just being a hater. Trying to get back on MNF or something Ron?

  44. Many of us Tebow fans didn’t appreciate Jaws’ slap in the face job offer to the Lord’s QB. Jaws knows darn well that Tebow is still 8-5 as a starter with a playoff win and more charisma and leadership skills than Jaws was given.

  45. Jaws looks like an effeminate chipmunk. He should restyle himself. Maybe grow a beard or ditch the silly intellectual glasses.

    Jaws choked away his only superbowl chance!

  46. What ever Chip Kelly decides to run will be fine, now Mike Vick… that’s another story. Do I believe Chip Kelly can create a playbook based around Vick? The answer is yes. Do I think Vick can follow that playbook? That’s a negative.

    Matt Barkley? Yes, I believe he could take Kelly’s Offense to a whole new level. Will Barkley start this year? Yes. As soon as week 5-6, that is when Kelly will lose faith in Vick and insert Barkley.

    Sorry to all of you Vick fans out there, he just doesn’t have what it takes to run a complicated Offense.

  47. so… a failed quarterback who couldnt grasp offenses himself and who isn’t particularly good at analyzing the game, thinks that an offense he hasn’t seen in practice is going to fail because of some game tape at the coaches last job?

    football news in may

  48. Jaws has been talking out both sides of his mouth. A few months ago, he said Vick could run Kelly’s offense, but now Kelly’s offense wont work in the NFL.

  49. Another red flag is that it’s not at all clear that Kelly even really wanted to coach in the NFL. He turned down multiple offers until it became clear the NCAA was going to hammer him at Oregon, so he hit the eject button. Had it always been his ambition to coach in the pros, I’d give him better odds of success, but I think he was exactly where he wanted to be at Oregon.

    Maybe he makes it all work, but I’m still thinking he’s in over his head and has no real concept how difficult it is to succeed at the NFL level. He’s just too used to having tremendous talent advantages, which he isn’t going to see in the NFL.

  50. A day in the life of Ron Jaworski (the guy who knows everything about what it takes to bring a championship to Philadelphia)….

    Wake up.

    ESPN morning meeting to discuss today’s BS story of the day.

    Call Philadelphia radio station to get the BS story out there.

    Return to ESPN to discuss people’s reactions to the BS story created where….at ESPN.


  51. Kelly has been saying all along that he will run whatever offense he thinks will work but no one seems to believe him. Also, when he played Stanford, who you say has NFL talent, he was playing with offensive players who didn’t have NFL talent. They didn’t have Desean Jackson, Lesean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin. So that is a weak argument but what should I expect from this site!?!

  52. Kelly has an innovative style to how he runs a practice and game plans that very well may translate well to the NFL. But the actual scheme they ran relied on fooling players and getting them out of position. You really can’t fool guys in the NFL.

    So yeah I’d agree with Jaworski but at the same time we shouldn’t assume that Chip can’t figure out some innovative things that absolutely do work in the NFL.

  53. Well, it’s worked for Green Bay. They have a very simplistic spread offense. The only difference is they have a pocket QB with a strong arm and great accuracy.

    But, if you get pressure and have quick athletic LB’s and CB’s like the 49ers have it’s easy to defend.

  54. Central problem is they essentially hired Kelly to run this offense. That was the appeal. If that offense isn’t going to work, what do they have left?

    The Pats and a couple other teams hired Kelly to consult and took the parts of his offense they thought would work and implemented those into their offenses. That’s looking like a far smarter move than hiring somebody with zero pro experience all the time.

  55. recycled story? I think so. I believe Jawz said this and a story was posted about Jawz saying this exact thing. This will be 2nd or 3rd time that sports news media has made a story out of a quote that was made by Jawz shortly after the hiring of coach Kelly.

  56. I was a fan of Jaws as a player, but as an analyst……everytime I see & hear him on TV, to me, he sounds like a loud guy talking while trying to eat an imaginary sandwich.

    Sorry Jaws.

  57. this is such a stupid argument. he’s not bringing the same PLAYS to philly. he’s bringing the same system, philosophy, etc. they said the read option wouldnt work, it’s working…they said the wildcat wouldnt work at all, it worked…sorta, but better than they said it would…point is that no one knows what will/wont work until people have to physically defend it. it’s all well and good to sit and watch film and dissect why things wont work at an nfl level. put people on the field and see how it goes.
    kelly is going to bring a hurry up philosophy to the nfl and last i checked, it works pretty well. it keeps defenses bland and they tend not to attack. so assuming he’s still going to be good at creating/exploiting mismatches, i think he’ll be fine. there’s a couple pretty good qbs that use this type of idea and attack to damn near perfection. They both may play in the AFC and could have names that end with names similar to Clady and Fanning.

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