Chip Kelly downplays how innovative his offense is


Eagles coach Chip Kelly brought the fast-paced offense he had honed at Oregon to the NFL last year, and the results were great. But Kelly says he’s not as much of an innovator as he’s been made out to be.

Kelly said that offensive trends change in the NFL all the time, and his own emphasis on the hurry-up offense traces its origins to teams like the Bills of the early 1990s and the Bengals of the late 1980s.

“It’s cyclical,” Kelly said. “You watch Andre Reed go into the Hall of Fame, and the offense he ran with the Buffalo Bills was as exciting and outstanding as you get, with Jim Kelly at quarterback and Thurman Thomas and that group of guys there. You can go back to Sam Wyche and Boomer Esiason — they were doing it a long time ago. I think sometimes there’s just cycles that go through.”

Kelly said the kind of offense he ran at Oregon has become commonplace in college and high school over the last several years, and so the players now entering the NFL are very familiar with the fast-paced offensive approach. In fact, sometimes young players are more familiar with the Kelly-style offense than longtime NFL coaches who haven’t followed recent trends in college football.

“There’s a lot more being done at the lower levels, the high school levels and the college levels, so the people coming up, I think, have a better understanding of it maybe, and they can share with their coaches on how they get that stuff accomplished,” Kelly said.

In Kelly’s view, football strategy is always evolving and will continue to do so.

“The game is very cyclical,” he said. “It will change and go the other way. There was a time when no one ran the 3-4 and everyone was a 4-3 team. Now it seems like a lot more 3-4 teams are in existence. It’s a game that ebbs and flows and I think everybody is just trying to figure out how they can stay ahead of it, and what’s the new trend.”

Kelly’s offense feels like the new trend in the NFL right now. Soon it will feel like old hand, and some other system with some other strategic advantages will be the next big thing in football.

53 responses to “Chip Kelly downplays how innovative his offense is

  1. Everyone’s copying it at least a little. It’s innovative Chip, enjoy it you’ll be known for a long time.

  2. The real trick is to stay ahead of the copycats. Chip will have to innovate his offense every year and if he does that he will end up a real winner. This season should tell us if he has that stay ahead of the curve.

  3. after watching the Eagles live in practice, its clear that “he gets it”. The Eagles are lucky to have him, and as a Pats fan I’m very happy he’s in the NFC. ;). Good things are coming for Eagles fans

  4. Humility matters. I like his answer. Humble, and recognizing those that came before him. That’s a good coach right there.

  5. I’ll wait until after this season to form an opinion of Chip Kelly. He is indeed innovative, but how that turns into wins, we don’t really know at this point.

    Here’s what we do know: Kelly created the 2013 Eagles in his vision and it got him to a 3-5 record half way through the season. Foles basically bailed him out what could have been a disastrous first season. Again, we’ll see what happens this year.

  6. One of the things I admire about Chip is that he doesn’t sit on his laurels. As the rest of the NFL begins to catch up to him, look for the Eagles to install new wrinkles to their offense to compensate.

  7. kelly has many versatile weapons — multi-dimensional players — on offense…mccoy, sproles, ertz, etc. but more importantly he has in foles what appears to be an efficient distributor of the football, so all the weapons can be maximally utilized. and he appears to have a good, stable offensive line to allow it to all happen.

    foles is the key…an efficient distributor of the football who is smart, reads defenses well, checks down quickly and finds the open guy. eagles offense, despite losing jackson, should be fun and exciting to watch.

  8. Pretty sure that what you saw right after halftime in the Saints Eagles game (before the corner went down) is what you’re going to be seeing a lot more of from his offense. They played truly terrible defenses last year. Other than the Lions in a snow game, did they beat a defense that was ranked higher then 22 or so?

  9. Sid Gillman and Paul Brown were the true offensive innovators. Those that followed just copied and added a little spin hear and there to keep it fresh and “new”.

  10. What does the “results were great” mean? He had less success than Reid had nearly every year of his tenure. If he can go to and advance in the playoffs, maybe you could call that great. Unless and until then, it’s a gimmick. NFL defensive coaches need 4 or 5 games to address and destroy gimmick offenses.

    The goal is to win the SuperBowl.

  11. When I saw Bill Lazor run essentially the 2013 Eagles’s offense and how successful it was (albeit preseason) in Miami’s first preseason game last week I really appreciated the architect capabilites Kelly has. I’m sure though his offense will be significantly different.

  12. here we go again…fake hand-off in spread formation, check for your open x read or back to McCoy on the delayed screen…it’s going to be a fun year in Philly.

  13. Chip embodies the traits of a successful coach. Here is a guy that has been successful at every level. Alot of people don’t realize he’s coached practically ever conceivable position during his career. Every team he’s touched has turned into an instant contender. All the naysayers were put in their collective places last year. The reality is, the college game is dictating how NFL teams are drawing up playbooks. Chip realizes he’s coaching at the highest level and to reach the pinnacle, he seems like the type that will work tirelessly to deliver the Eagles organization a ring. If he wins a ring for Philly, he will be canonized.

  14. The Eagles had around the 10th most offensive snaps per game last year. There were many more teams with faster offenses.

    For example, Green Bay has been using the hurry up offense with Aaron Rodgers for at least 3 years now. They had more offensive snaps per game than the Eagles did; even when Aaron Rodgers missed half the season.

    Kelly is right to downplay it; he hasn’t changed much of anything but the Eagles.

  15. A true genius never feels innovative or special to himself. It comes so natural to the true genius that it seems common. A genius mathematician looks at a complex calculus problem and sees a 2 +2. Chip is a genius.

  16. 100 years of Football and never before have we seen the likes of CHIP!!! Innovative, mind blowing, amazing. Thank God for Chip… Give me a break folks. Let him do something in the NFL before we anoint him. Please.

  17. The Pats have been running a version of this offense for years. Believe some of it was copied from Kelly.

  18. i am a firm believer that no scheme in the nfl will work if you don’t have the talent to run it.

    i always wonder if the west coast offense would have taken off the way that it did if bill walsh had neil lomax throwing to a couple no name receivers instead of having some guys named joe montana, jerry rice, john taylor and roger craig running things….

  19. Eagle apologists do you realize that you guys beat the skins 2 times the raiders Kyle Orton and Matt flynn. 50percent of your wins. Relax on the chip is a genius talk. Scored 24 on pathetic cowboys d week 17 and got beat in every aspect from coaching to special teams by the saints. FACTS ONLY

  20. This year will show how smart Chub Kelly really is. No DeSean for a downfield stretch and Maclin always hurt will show if he really is an OFFENSIVE genius.

  21. In his first season as head coach (with Andy’s leftovers) he fielded the #2 offense. Imagine what we’ll see in his 4th or 5th year with the Eagles

  22. as an eagles fan i’m still holding out on annointing him a great coach, but some of these comments are flat out dumb. “3-5 at the midway point, and foles bailed him out from a disastrous first season”…”what great results?”…”had less success then reid did almost every year”…”garbage player personnel decisions”…and my personel favorite “did they beat a defense ranked higher than 22?”. what are you people talking about? first off, he took a team that was 4-12 under reid with basically the same exact roster (expect lane at RT and carrey williams) and went 10-6 in his first season. and had he not gone 10-6 it wouldn’t have been “disastrous” because our expectations were way down going into his first season. no1 expected them to make the playoffs. the results (offensively) were great like the author says. besides peyton and the broncos, they were clearly the scariest offense in the league. and what horrible personel decisions has he made? yes, losing desean will hurt, but the bottom line is he wasn’t buying in, was a cancer in practice and the locker room, and he isn’t irreplacable like a calvin, julio etc…and then every one bashed the draft this year, but when is the last time you saw a team have 5 rookies all make significant plays in their first career preseason game the way they did last week in chicago. not to mention the most highly touted rookie on the team (jordan matthews) did nothing. i’m not saying they are going to all be great players, but we have a lot of time to go before anyone can say he makes “garbage” personnel moves. and by the way, snowpea84, 5 of their 10 wins came against defenses ranked in the top 18, with 3 of those wins coming against top 10 defenses. i really wish some of you weren’t so ignorant and the comments on this site could be more intelligent and worth having fun arguments/disucssions over.

  23. Feels good to have hate again toward this team again. At the end of the Andy Reid era I thought it would be a long time before it was sunny in philly. Last year we heard how Chip was going to be gone in 1 year then he took a 4-12 team and got them to 10-6. If you hate him or not there’s no way you can come on here and say he wasn’t successful in his first year or he hasn’t been in any way innovative. But the saying goes if you have haters your doing something right and it feels good to have hate toward the eagles and their coach again, it means were doing something right!

  24. meanwhile in Cleveland… no accusations of Kyle Shannahan of being innovative– they should’ve kept Norv! good job Banner/Lombardi!

  25. No one reinvents football. People have been spreading the field and moving at a fast tempo for yrs. It gets figured out. Power running and def win championships not gimmicky offenses. See seattle. Chip kelly back to school in 2015.

  26. I’m not saying Chip has arrived yet, but let’s not forget that Nick Foles and CK’s offense walked off the field late in the 4th quarter of the playoff game with the lead.

    The defense allowed Drew Brees to walk down the field and win it. I am excited about the Eagles this year, it will be fun to watch.

  27. Drafted that bum in round 1 this year. Took Matthews who has a documented history of having the dropsies, let go of desean, gave way to much money to Riley cooper, all the no name bums signed for defense last year. Malcolm Jenkins has led the league consistently in missed tackles. Oh yea also missed out on their first two picks this year cooks and Clinton Dix, so yea in a short career his player personnel decisions suck

  28. I need more years of success for me to be sold. Last year they only played 2 teams ranked in the top 15 in defense. So to me they played a whole lot of average or below average defenses all year not to mention the advantage of playing Dallas’s defense twice which might have been one of the worst defenses ive ever seen. What I dont like about the fast paced no huddle all the time is if you play a top 5 defense your going to be 3 and out fast thus putting your defense back out on the field after 45 seconds of offensive posetion. It works great on sub par defenses but Not with the upper tear defenses especially if Philly doesnt have a top 20 defense.

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