Eagles’ Chip Kelly Not Ranked in Top 10 NFL Head Coaches


Did the Eagles’ head-coach get shafted in this countdown?

National NFL writers, specifically ones from NFL.com, have been very kind to Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles this off-season, despite Kelly overhauling the roster to fit his image.

In the minds of most in Philadelphia, there are a limited amount of flaws to Kelly the coach while the jury remains out on whether Kelly the executive will make him as a coach or sink the so-called “Chip ship”.

But national feedback on Kelly’s first off-season with personel control have been rather high, for the most part.

NFL.com’s Elliot Harrison ranked his 32 best coaches today, and didn’t seem to be as kind to Kelly the coach as many from his outlet have been. He ranked Kelly as the 13th best coach, which felt rather low.

"After talking to people around the NFL Media offices and perusing the various opinions in the social media universe, it would seem there are legions of people out there who would take Kelly as their head coach in a second. No relatively new coach has received the kind of pub Kelly has over the last two years. So how good is he? Well, he’s compiled a 20-12 regular-season record and made a one-and-done appearance in the 2013 playoffs. While his system hasn’t exactly revolutionized the league as some expected, you have to give the man props for doing what he’s done with quarterbacks like Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez. Is this too low for Kelly? Or too high?"

Saying his offense is revolutionary may be an exaggeration at this point, but teams have began to copy the up-tempo aspect of it or to slow things down to combat it. And that will continue around the league. From that sense, he’s left his mark on the league.

Perhaps the biggest knock against Kelly is that he hasn’t won a playoff game in two seasons, but that may not be a fair criticism. He walked into a dumpster fire of a situation and has only lost 12 games in two years with a team that lost 12 games in Andy Reid’s final season. And though they are all gone now, Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy (and eventually Nick Foles) are all much richer men for having played in Kelly’s offense. 

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I’m not suggesting Kelly is a top-five head coach, but some of the names above him are alarming. Chuck Pagano checked in at 11, despite not proving himself individually to be much more than a run of the mill coach since taking over in 2012. Andy Reid has an identical record as Kelly in two years but did so based largely on a hot start in his first year, and doesn’t seem to have a brighter future than Kelly. And Tom Coughlin ranked eighth on this list, despite the fact that the Giants haven’t made the playoffs in any of the last three seasons.

Pagano really has no business being above Kelly, because the only thing he’s proven to be better at as a head coach (besides him being a defensive mind and Kelly being offensive) is picking a situation that Andrew Luck ended up in. Reid and Coughlin would trounce Kelly in terms of career accomplishments, but I think you would be hard pressed to find too many people around the league who would rather have either of them than Kelly moving forward.

Keep in mind, I haven’t always agreed with Kelly as an executive and I thought he was out-coached by Sean Payton in the one playoff game that he’s been in. For the most part, though, I think Kelly has been and will continue to be one of the 10 best game-day coaches in the league considering his offensive play-calling ability and improvements made to the team’s defensive and special teams’ units over the past two years.

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