When Steve Spurrier and Nick Sabin entered the NFL, the sky was the limit. Little did fans know, the pair scampered back to the college ranks after a few years of failure.
Did they catalyze their own demise?
Whether the pair planned to or not, both coaches left the NFL to return to greener pastures in the NCAA. Subsequently, the practice of hiring a college coach in the NFL became plagued with insecurity. Even historic coach Jimmie Johnson could not strip college coaches of their reputed NFL failure.
Eagles fans will be hoping that Chip Kelly avoids this path.
Rumor has it that Kelly may have left Oregon to avoid NCAA sanctions hanging overhead, as a black cloud in the Eugene sky. This would explain why Kelly originally declined the position of Eagles coach, then accepted later. Once the sanctions expire, nothing will stand in the way of an Oregon return for the heralded head coach: deja vu.
Kelly was a renowned hero as an Oregon Duck. Should he fail as an NFL coach, the path is clear for a flight back to the West coast. Simply put: should Kelly fail to win in his first few years, he may be on his way out.
Such is motivation for Philadelphia to support the coach. Without victory to quench a thirst for success, there is no telling how long Kelly can resist the Oregon temptation. This would also reveal why Kelly opted to select Michael Vick as his quarterback: if the Eagles cannot “win now,” then Kelly will be within his full rights to scurry back to Eugene.
Much like his predecessors, Kelly is netted with the safety blanket of Oregon. Should he find his teachings out of line in the NFL, he will undoubtedly leave. That being said, the Eagles need to achieve a level of success in the 2013 season. As the days dwindle before the opener in Washington, the Eagles know they need victories, if nothing else but for Chips’ sake.
Photo: Business Insider