Mike Sando of ESPN ranked the 32 coaches in the NFL on ESPN’s Insider page. That link is behind a paywall, but the folks over at Bleeding Green Nation dutifully captured the Kelly portion. Predictably, it’s awesome:
12. Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles (2.20 average)
There were a couple of schools of thought on Kelly. Some were sufficiently excited about him to anoint him as a “1” [tier] after a single successful season in the NFL. Others of a similar mind thought he was a “2” trending toward the top tier. Nine voters placed Kelly in that third category, taking a wait-and-see approach. One noted that the Eagles struggled for a stretch last season before taking advantage of an unusually weak NFC East division.
“Kelly is the fascinating guy to me, because with a lot of these young [coaches] I’m not sure, but Chip has a chance to be really special,” a former GM said while putting Kelly in the second tier with the arrow pointing up. “He is going to do it differently. Even the DeSean Jackson thing, he was not afraid to get rid of him. He thinks his system can overcome everything and sometimes those guys know. He interests me greatly.”
A defensive coordinator lauded Kelly for doing an outstanding job with players. The coordinator also suggested time would tell whether Kelly’s offense would have staying power. “I think he is a 1,” a GM said. “I just think he doesn’t give a s— what other people think, and he has his beliefs, he is outside the box and he is true to himself.”
I agree that he doesn’t give a shit what people think, but I don’t believe it’s a conscious effort to think outside the box and stay true to himself. Kelly, as he has said many times, is all about asking why? and, if the answer is not sufficient, doing things in a logical or progressive way. Is that outside the box? Sure. But that’s not the goal. His goal is straightforward: do what makes sense, not what people have always done. Works in many fields, not just sports. Buy a goddamn t-shirt.