Where so many former college coaches have failed, there are extremely high hopes for former Oregon head man Chip Kelly with the Philadelphia Eagles. His offensive schematics have drawn the likes of Bill Belichick to Eugene in order to learn, and fans are practically foaming at the mouth with talents such as Mike Vick, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson on the roster.
However, one group of people that should be cheering for Kelly’s NFL career to go by the way of Steve Spurrier and Nick Saban is Texas A&M’s 12th Man.
Why, you ask? If Kelly’s revolutionary offense proves successful, the pro teams that come calling at Kevin Sumlin’s College Station office may become too loud to ignore.
Despite Sumlin recently explaining that he loves mentoring 18-24 year olds too much to leave for the next level, NFL teams will still make a run at him next year – especially if Kelly’s offense works. Sumlin is another who truly grasps the new-school nuances of the read-option (see his coaching of the record-setting Case Keenum at Houston and then Johnny Manziel at A&M) and Len Pasquarelli states that NFL teams are jonesing to have that knowledge patrolling their own sidelines.
“Several team executives to whom (National Football Post) spoke this week cited Sumlin as the college coach most likely to be eyed by NFL teams looking to make a change, and take a fresh approach, next spring,” Pasquarelli reported.
Yes, Saban failed with the Miami Dolphins and Spurrier flamed out in Washington, but Pasquerelli spoke to those inside the game today, and more and more it is looking like Kelly’s performance could change hiring practices for a generation.
“The bias against (college coaches) isn’t nearly what it used to be,” an NFL personnel director told Pasquarelli. “And if (Kelly) does well, people will be even more open-minded.”
The 12th Man gets as loud as any collegiate fan base for its Aggies every Saturday, but now it may have to cheer equally as loudly for any team going against Kelly’s Eagles on Sundays.