Chip Kelly was announced as the new head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles today. Undoubtedly, this hiring will affect the Arizona Wildcats and the rest of the Pac 12, but in what ways?
It has been speculated that if Kelly were to leave Oregon that would create a dominoe effect and send RichRod to Oregon. Wildcat fans, feel free to breathe a sigh of relief. Oregon came out a few weeks ago and announced that they would promote” the other Rich”, offensive Coordinator Mark Helfrich. Helfrich is expected to pick up right where Chip Kelly left off, although it will be a lot harder than expected with the possibilities of NCAA sanctions against the team.
Chip Kelly’s departure will also affect Arizona and the other Pac-12 teams by creating a void at the top of the standings. Any number of teams could take the reigns as the head of the Pac, including Stanford, USC, Arizona State, Oregon State, and Arizona. The recruits for all of these teams could start increasing, knowing that an opportunity has presented itself at the top of the Pac. The good news for Arizona fans is that the Ducks and Cats run similar offenses. If some of the Oregon recruits bolt to another school, Arizona could be on the top of their list. The RichRod style of football is very intriguing, just like the Oregon style of football is, and with the high paced, read option offense becoming relevant in the NFL, look for Arizona to get better recruits.
Chip Kelly will also have a choice for who he will start at QB for the Eagles. If he chooses Nick Foles as his starting QB he will be united with an ex Wildcat. Everyone has been speculating that Foles is a terrible fit for a Chip Kelly offense, because he isn’t a mobile QB. This statement is completely false, and Kelly realizes that Foles will be a great fit. When Foles was at Arizona, Kelly called him virtually unsackable, and that he “watches in awe sometimes” at Foles. He stated that Foles had one of the quickest releases that he had ever seen as well. With Foles, the Eagles will still be able to have a no huddle offense and he won’t have to completely remake what he knows. The New England Patriots have already mirrored their offense to what Kelly was doing at Oregon. The Patriots play up tempo with a QB that stands tall in the pocket, has a very quick release, and is a film junkie. Does that sound like anyone you know Wildcat fans? Add that to an offensive line that will be much improved(with Jason Peters back and other starters being healthy)and this is the perfect offense to mirror what New England has done. The Eagles have an abundance of offensive talent with Desean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, and Riley Cooper at WR, and Lesean McCoy, Bryce Brown, and Dion Lewis at RB. Ironically, the only thing that Foles and Kelly need now is what neither of them had in College. The Gronk.