Think Chip Kelly’s offense won’t work in the NFL? It already is

From, here’s a list of the top ten teams in the NFL in yards per play offense:

1 Washington 6.2
2 New Orleans 6.1
3 San Francisco 6.0
4 NY Giants 5.9
5 Atlanta 5.8
6 Tampa Bay 5.8
7 Carolina 5.8
8 New England 5.8
9 Denver 5.8
10 Seattle 5.7

Washington, San Francisco, Carolina and Seattle all deploy young mobile quarterbacks and the spread option, and New England is using the hurry-up tempo. Atlanta and New Orleans have their quarterback in the gun with a single back on most of their possessions.

Kelly is an innovative genius who will adapt his offensive scheme to his personnel. But the assertion that the Oregon offense won’t work in the NFL is patently false. It already is. In fact, it’s sweeping the NFL and revolutionizing the game. Coaches are idea whores. They voraciously borrow from each other and scavenge the past for anything that works.

The coach himself has made the point several times that there really isn’t anything new in football. Oregon’s zone read borrows liberally from concepts that date to Dutch Meyer and TCU, Bud Wilkinson and the Split-T at Oklahoma, and the single wing, multiple threat tailbacks of the 1930s. Players now are just faster and wear fancier uniforms.

Kelly’s highly likely to succumb to the lure of NFL money and the NFL challenge. And GMs around the league want him, because he’s successful and dynamic, a headline-catching hire who employs the hottest trend in the game.

The handshake at midfield with Bill Snyder after the Fiesta Bowl after the game will be Kelly’s last in an Oregon visor. His next flash bulb moment will be in a suit and tie, accepting another ritual clasp with the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles.