Who would have ever thought this would be the case...again. A high profile, championship-level college coach, with emphasis on execution and measurables, would be drummed out before he ever truly got rolling?
Chip Kelly and Nick Saban are worlds apart in what fans like to think are their respective "philosophies." But, the true philosophy of both involves bringing in players to fit a preferred scheme, ensuring those players meet scheme measurables, then coaching execution to a standard of excellence.
Kelly had a luxury Saban never did: Personnel management. Whatever you think of their respective performance, however, don't call this a failure of coaching or one of system. In Kelly's case, it was a failure of translation and trust, and, in Saban's, it was a failure of personnel and motivation.
Still, two very different men failed, and the NFL media are looking for the same excuses.
The word Kelly constantly harped on was execution. But players are not robots. If they executed perfectly, every coach would look like a genius. When players fail to execute, it ultimately means they are not good enough or the coaches are not doing their jobs. That's why after the 2014 season Kelly wrestled full personnel control away from general manager Howie Roseman. Kelly overhauled the roster, trading LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills, acquiring Sam Bradford from the St. Louis Rams and signing DeMarco Murray as a free agent. Kelly placed an enormous emphasis on measurables. Cornerbacks had to be a certain height. Defensive linemen had to have the proper arm length. Wide receivers had to be a certain size. There's nothing wrong with having prototypes; that's common around the NFL. But Kelly showed little flexibility, and eventually his guidelines proved to be too stringent.
This is an exceptionally myopic take, in my opinion. If there is ANY place where measurables and workout warriors are rewarded, it's the NFL. Warren Moon and Doug Flutie were overlooked for being too short or too black or too system, yet prospered to a ridiculous degree
To fault Kelly for having a draft/personnel system that relies upon "measurables" is to basically shit upon the entire concept of draft analysis and personnel management that has been battle-tested and proven through years of execution. No one in the NFL signs 5'`11" 270-pound centers, for instance, or 5'8" cornerback projects.
What does this mean going forward?
Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel highlight two in particular who could get a strong look, beginning with Notre Dame's Brian Kelly, on the latest episode of The Audible.
Brian Kelly is on deck. The NFL is hot and wet-rumped and Kelly seems a good fit -- however, not (as many think) in Indianapolis, but in Detroit. Caldwell has to be a dead man walking, right? Kelly is a Michigander by training, if not birth. If this domino falls, then the whole set starts to click across the college football opium den.
According to a dependable source in Alabama, Shoop has turned down multiple offers to meet with Auburn coach Gus Malzahn and discuss filling the Tigers' vacant defensive coordinator position. And it would have been at a salary that would've made him at or very near the highest paid coordinator in college football. Both last week and this week, intermediaries from both camps were in contact, each time initiated by Auburn, the source told me. Early this week, Malzahn offered to meet to discuss the position with Shoop who is preparing the Penn State defense for its game on Jan. 2 against Auburn's SEC stablemate Georgia in the TaxSlayer Bowl. But, on each occasion, Shoop declined a formal meeting and told Auburn he was not interested in its position. This, despite a reported salary offer in the range of $1.5 million per year.
Bob Shoop (a New England guy) is the next Tom Bradley or Bud Foster. He's a lifer at coordinator. And, as a lifer, loyalty matters. Bailing to a 6-6 Auburn team, with a possible dead-man-walking, does not serve those interests well.
SARCASM FONT Besides, it's only a matter of time until James Franklin underwhelms enough to be let go. Shoop becomes the next in line, surely? SARCASM FONT
Looking locally, a division rival could be seriously hampered both in recruiting and in performance...
Ed Orgeron has been in talks with USC coach Clay Helton to return as its defensive line coach, according to reports from Los Angeles Daily News.
Ed O loves SoCal. Loves it. If coaching the D Line at LSU isn't enough of a fix, then only one thing will serve: A return to Troy. I think this happens. Helton is a seeming placeholder & Da' Coach O brings in talent and can coach them up front -- all are talents Helton will need to succeed. For Eddie O, the stakes are larger -- perform excellently, move to DC eventually, then hope for Helton to flame out and finally get the Trojan dream job for which Pat Haden never even seriously considered him.
On the Alabama home front, the diminution of a conference foe, to enrich a relatively harmless PAC 12 runner-up, only helps the Tide.