We all know the recent history of Chip Kelly. He was the head coach of the Oregon Ducks, leading the Ducks to four consecutive BCS bowl games. In Kelly’s final season as coach of the Ducks, Kelly led the team to a 12-1 record and a #2 ranking in the college football rankings.
Kelly then took his fast-paced spread offense to the NFL, turning around the previously 4-12 Eagles to a 10-6 record and an NFC East title in 2013 (losing to the Saints in the first round). He then was able to duplicate the same record in 2014, this time missing the postseason. After his success the previous two years, Kelly was named head of football operations for the Eagles, and that’s where the trouble started.
Now able to make personnel decisions, Kelly took a talented roster and destroyed it in favor of bringing former Oregon Ducks into the fold. He traded RB LeSean McCoy for LB Kiko Alonso with McCoy going on to still be incredibly productive in Buffalo. He traded Pro Bowl QB Nick Foles for Sam Bradford, signed RB DeMarco Murray to a huge contract, and then finished the 2015 season with a 7-9 record.
After those questionable personnel moves, Kelly was brought in as the head coach of the 49ers and immediately fired following a 2-14 record. Kelly inherited a 49ers team without a QB, without any top-level WRs, and without any semblance of a defense. There was no way he had any chance of succeeding in San Francisco.
If the Saints do end up trading Head Coach Sean Payton, then Chip Kelly will surely be one of the names mentioned as his replacement, and for good reason.
As long as Kelly is able to be kept out of personnel decisions, then the New Orleans Saints offense is just the type of high-octane unit that would make Chip Kelly drool. If the Saints find a team to part with at least one 2017 first round pick to take on Sean Payton’s contract, the fanbase will obviously be disheartened after losing the only head coach in franchise history to bring the team a Super Bowl victory. Bringing in Kelly as his replacement would bring excitement and optimism back to the team in a slew of negative publicity and he just might be exactly what the Saints need moving forward.