Chip Kelly brings speed, big plays to Eagles

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Chip Kelly will bring his fast-paced offense to the NFL as coach of the Eagles.The Philadelphia Eagles hired Oregon head coach Chip Kelly on Wednesday to replace Andy Reid. Kelly is the first head coach the Eagles have hired directly from the college ranks since hiring Dick Vermeil from UCLA in 1976, and it’s the first time the Eagles hired a head coach with no NFL experience either coaching or as a player since Bert Bell in 1936.

Kelly was 46-7 in four seasons at Oregon and is the first coach to make a BCS appearance in each of his first four seasons.

He’s the sixth active NFL coach to make the jump directly from college and has the highest college win percentage among those coaches.


It might be hard to believe with all the criticism, but Philly's rushing offense looks similar to Oregon's over the past four seasons.

The Eagles were seventh or better in rushing, yards per rush and rushing touchdowns over the past four seasons. In the same span, Oregon was sixth or better in FBS in the same categories.

Both offenses have been known for big plays -- the Ducks led all of FBS under Kelly with 220 plays of 25+ yards. The Eagles, on the other hand, fell from first in 2009 to 20th this season.

Eagles Pass Defense This Season

Juan Castillo: fired during Week 7 bye

But that hasn’t turned into points. This season the Eagles scored just 17.5 points per game, their fewest since 1999, and had just 10 rushing touchdowns, their fewest since 2004.

Kelly may be able to help the offense, but it might be the defense that needs the most work. The Eagles allowed a league-worst 33 touchdown passes last season, 26 of which came after Juan Castillo was fired as defensive coordinator.


Kelly will bring his up-tempo offense, which averaged a play every 20.9 seconds in four seasons at Oregon. By comparison, the Patriots' no-huddle spread, which was a full second faster than any other team, was four seconds per play slower than Kelly's Ducks this season.

Oregon ran 1,077 plays in just 13 games this season, which would have ranked seventh -- just one spot behind the Eagles -- in the NFL's 16-game schedule this season.

Oregon's average of 82.8 plays per game would easily beat New England's league-leading average of 74.4.

Yards Per Rush in NFL
This Season (incl. playoffs)

The NFL has already embraced some facets of what we typically consider a college-style offense. This season, including the playoffs, NFL teams are averaging 6.1 yards per rush out of the pistol formation and just 4.2 in all other formations.

Teams are also averaging 6.3 yards per rush on zone-read and option rushes and just 4.2 on all other runs.

The league has been more willing to embrace these "college-styles" of offensive play. There have been almost twice as many zone-read and option rushes this season (457) as there were last season (244) and nearly 10 times as many plays run out of the pistol formation (533 vs 54).