by Mario Granata
With the ever-changing NFL, there are always unique offenses that are designed to try and combat the complex defensive schemes. Defenses look to make teams one-dimensional and on the same token, offenses wish to do the same. As a wise man one said, “If the defense knows what you are doing, you better be good as what you do.”
That philosophy might have worked about 15-20 years ago, but with the invention of the ‘wildcat’ and ‘pistol’, two examples that prove that if you give defensive coordinators an off-season of planning, they will wash out. Chip Kelly’s ego is such that he wants to have a long and ‘innovative’ career in the NFL. He took a player like Nick Foles, and in the first year of his high-octane offense, brought him to a 27-2 TD to Int ratio, but he was never “Chip’s Guy”. That man was still playing in college.
So, Kelly has concocted a master plan to have the ultimate offense in the NFL and here is how he envisions it playing out.
Plan A: Sign a Banger and a Slasher
In Chip Kelly’s time in Oregon the two most productive running backs that he had were Legarrette Blount and LaMichael James. Blount was the pounding back, while James used quickness and speed to get out in space and make plays. Kelly’s first season in Oregon (2009) saw him take Pac-10 coach of the year, and he probably wishes he had more time with the two of them in the backfield, for in his mind, they could have led him to a National Championship.
So, Kelly’s original plan was to acquire Frank Gore to go along with Darren Sproles. A stark comparison of playing styles that could be compared to Blount and James. However, Gore pulled the plug on Kelly, electing to sign with the Indianapolis Colts, which forced Kelly to go to the drawing board.
Plan B: Make Up for McCoy, and Get Some Insurance
Due to what happened with Frank Gore, the pitch to gain a running back for the traded LeSean McCoy couldn’t come from Kelly himself. Already having the mindset that Nick Foles isn’t in his future plans; Kelly trades Foles to the Rams for Sam Bradford. His ultimate goal is to acquire Demarco Murray, so who better than to influence Murray to come to Philadelphia than his former Oklahoma teammate? Well played, Chip.
Kelly, however, didn’t want to walk away empty-handed, if the pitch from Bradford failed to sway Murray, so he signs Ryan Mathews. Mathews has played with Sproles in San Diego during the 2010 season, so who better to ‘coach’ Mathews on the complex offense than his old teammate?
Plan C: Flip a Former First Round QB for a First Round Pick
The ultimate goal for Kelly is to bring in Marcus Mariota to the Eagles, but having the 20th overall pick doesn’t help his goal of drafting him. Early reports are already coming about that teams are offering the Eagles a first round pick for Bradford. Don’t be surprised if Kelly, to have teams thinking about it, started that rumor. Enter the Cleveland Browns. The Browns hold the key to the Eagles getting Mariota. They hold two first round picks and are in need of a quarterback. What Kelly will try to do is to flip Bradford (now that he has served his purpose by swaying Murray) to the Browns for their 19th overall pick, which was gifted to them in 2014 by the Bills. By trading Bradford to the Browns, Kelly can then package the 19th and 20th overall picks to Tennessee, who has many needs for the 2nd overall pick.
Although this article, in many respects, could rival articles written about the JFK Assassination, it doesn’t seem too farfetched that Kelly wants Mariota and wants him bad. Chip Kelly is now playing with house money, because of the Browns or Titans don’t trade with the Eagles, Kelly has a 1-2 punch with Murray and Mathews to run as many plays as he wants without tiring out his running backs.
Here’s to hoping that Tampa Bay drafts Mariota and throws a wrench in Kelly’s Master Plan.