Smooth Transition

Dan Wetzel is a great columnist for Yahoo. He wrote a good piece on Chip Kelly making the successful transition from college to the NFL.

Kelly didn’t just deliver one of the biggest turnarounds in the league this year, taking a four-win team to 10-6, a divisional championship and a home playoff game against New Orleans on Saturday night.

He changed the way college coaches may be seen by the NFL. This wasn’t someone who bounced between the pros and colleges. This wasn’t a veteran guy with a deep network of peers. This wasn’t a former player. He was a chalkboard guru, who as recently as 2006 was a small college coordinator and had only four seasons of head coaching experience.

There was no road map for success, just a well-worn path of failure.

There was also a profound acumen that immediately convinced players he knew what he was talking about. Kelly didn’t just talk to McCoy. He talked to everyone. They all immediately realized he knew of what he spoke.

“Chip is just an outstanding coach, it’s the only way to put it,” center Jason Kelce said.

There was also a deep respect for the players. Kelly treated them as more than something to mold or bully, more than just chess pieces to move around the field. He handled the potential minefield of preseason scandal involving Riley Cooper using a racial slur at a concert. He deftly juggled adversity, injuries and other setbacks that happen in this league. He won everyone’s trust.

Kelly really did a phenomenal job this year.

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