Chip Stew: As Likely to be the Next Great Coach as Anyone Else

Back in November, when Chip Kelly-to-the-NFL talk was only rumor, Chase Stuart disputed the notion that Kelly was likely to be the next Steve Spurrier. I know most Eagles fans have moved past this line of argument, but the broader context Stuart brings to the disucssion is still worthwhile:

But the bigger question isn’t ‘whether or not Kelly will fail’ because ultimately most coaches do. Rex Ryan was the toast of the town two years ago, reaching the AFC Championship Game in each of his first two seasons, and now seems on his way out the door. Tom Coughlin may be the single best coach in professional football, and Giants fans have wanted him fired for long stretches of his career. After awhile, every coach becomes a failure. Andy Reid is learning that lesson quite painfully in 2012...

Few elements of football are more art than science than the hiring of a head coach. The options always come with bright red flags. College coaches aren’t even in the same league as NFL coaches, young coordinators have never shown the ability to lead, and retreads have already proven that they can fail. The skills needed to make a person a great position coach or a great coordinator often have little overlap with what is needed of a head coach. And while it’s true that the skills needed to make a great college coach a great NFL coach are different as well, criticism of Kelly as ‘just a college coach’ is short-sighted. You can’t pluck the next Bill Walsh off of Craigslist. Kelly is smart, creative, and a proven winner. He can bring a level of clarity to an otherwise dysfunctional organization. To me, he’s the most attractive option out there for the half-dozen or so teams that will need a new coach in 2013.