After Chip Kelly bolted Oregon for the challenge of coaching at the professional level, all eyes focused in on his search for a defensive coordinator. Now with the Philadelphia Eagles, Kelly is an undeniably brilliant offensive mind, having changed the fundamentals of the spread offense in such a way that running the ball can be carried out successfully, instead of just slinging the football all over the field.
However, his defenses at Oregon have never been able to meet the lofty status of their teammates on offense. Kelly himself has admitted that he focuses on scoring more points than the opposition, preferring to win games in a shootout rather than a slugfest.
But the NFL is an entirely different animal, and Kelly will have to tweak his coaching philosophies in order to succeed. First and foremost, he understands that he will have to place a new premium on defense.
And that means bringing in a fantastic coordinator to make up for Kelly’s own deficiencies. Following his hiring, we reported that Kelly and Eagles ownership have had their eyes on Georgia’s Todd Grantham.
The team has also reportedly interviewed Alabama’s Kirby Smart, and thus, as of Monday, the organization’s desire for Grantham may have changed. In fact, word out of Athens is that Georgia’s athletic director has not even been contacted by the Eagles, a mandatory step before attempting to hire on a coach from another team or school.
“(Georgia’s) AD says he has not been contacted by NFL teams, which would be required (to hire Grantham),” John Clark of NBC10 in Philadelphia tweeted.
This is not to say that Philly does not want Grantham. Rather, Kelly could be waiting until after National Signing Day, coming up on Feb. 6, in order to bring in Grantham. Such a move would be considered a professional courtesy, as it would minimize any recruiting losses for Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt and his remaining staff.
Basically, the longer Kelly’s search for a defensive coordinator drags on, the more and more its looks as if he is waiting for Grantham to decide that he wants to make the leap back into the NFL.
Should that happen, it will be back to the drawing board for Richt and Co.; a defensive unit already losing potential first-round draft picks Jarvis Jones, John Jenkins, Alec Ogletree, Shawn Williams and Bacarri Rambo (this was a stacked squad in 2012) will thus have to fit several new pieces together under the watch of a new coordinator. That is not what Richt would like as the Dawgs gear up for a run at a third consecutive trip to the SEC title game.