YOU’RE GODDAMN RIGHT HE DID!
Look at them knees, Chip.
Over at Sports Illustrated today, Greg A. Bedard’s profile on Chip Kelly’s offseason went online before its print date. It doesn’t contain many crazy insights we didn’t already know about the unofficial Chip. It does, however, contain a little passage on the kind of guys Chip Kelly likes, and why he likes them. For example, Chip wants his defensive ends to be at least 6’6″. He wants tall receivers. And he wants dudes with big knees:
“The most important characteristic? Knees with a circumference of at least 18 inches—an identifier of guys who are built solidly in the lower body and thus, the Eagles believe, less susceptible to injuries. At outside linebacker he wants long-armed players who, above all else, can set the edge in the running game; the ability to rush the passer from this position is very much secondary. And Kelly wants to man his secondary with tall, long cornerbacks because he runs a scheme similar to that of the Seahawks’ physical Cover Three. The Eagles didn’t give a sniff to elite shutdown cornerback Darrelle Revis in free agency because they have no use for shutdown corners in their scheme. They much prefer having the length to disrupt passing lanes.”
Go ahead, I’ll wait while you track down a tape measure to figure out your own knee circumference (mine are a measly 15″).
But Kelly is not just winging it all now that he has personnel control. When he was at New Hampshire, he “regularly visited other colleges—places like Wake Forest and Northwestern—on his own dime in search of more information,” according to Bedard. “He even did a two-week internship in the CFL, where he picked up the influence of motion and using the entire width of the field.”
But a profile on Chip Kelly wouldn’t be complete with a story to build his legend.
According to Bedard, while Kelly was still at New Hampshire, the Oregon Ducks ran a play that Chip had originally run with his I-AA team. The play was a “fly sweep concept but from the shotgun, with a toss forward,” according to then Ducks coach Mike Bellotti. They ran it on the first play of the 2006 season. The receiver in motion dropped the ball, but “the play … was so new that officials initially ruled a fumble, recovered by [Stanford].” Bellotti used his first ever coach’s challenge on the first play of that season, and the call was overturned. The next year, Kelly was hired as the offensive coordinator at Oregon. So if this all ends up blowing up Chip’s his face, we’ve got the NCAA’s instant replay rules to blame.
Related: DeSean Jaccson’s baby knees:
Side note: I guess having big knees as a result of swelling from multiple ACL surgeries doesn’t matter. The Bradford era.