By Peter Gleason

So, axed Eagles Supreme Leader Chip Kelly has told TV and radio gossip columnist Howard Eskin that “he’ll have an NFL job in a week!”

No doubt.

Kelly may not have to wait that long.

He did enough in his almost-three years with the Eagles to entice one of the league’s owners to take a chance on him right away.

Apparently Kelly will not seek total control at his next stop, but an objective look at Kelly’s record in the area of player personnel reveals, at worse, a grade of incomplete. He had only a few months to implement his plan for 2015, and judging any other GM on such a small sample size is something we’d never do.

What Kelly can be judged on is the thing that made him a hot coaching prospect in the first place: his supposedly innovative offensive system.

The Eagles were ranked second in total yards in 2013, fifth in 2014 and are 15th this year. Kelly never had a quarterback who truly fit the system, though Sam Bradford is certainly a better option than Nick Foles was and the offense regressed. Kelly also successfully brought in runners this season that he said would fit his system better than shifty LeSean McCoy; they haven’t.

Perhaps with the right quarterback and an offense that is demonstrably more talented than most of the other teams in the league, Kelly’s relentlessly up-tempo system can work. But this is not Oregon. The difference between the “best” and “worst” in the NFL is infinitesimal, and even if you manage to assemble a truly superior team one year it is nearly impossible to keep it into the next.

Kelly’s belief that his method — which relies mostly on using a sped-up offense to create mismatches against a tired defense — could work at the most sophisticated level of football was, simply, wrong. NFL defensive coaches needed all of one offseason — none of which was spent recruiting, remember — to pull apart the video of what the Eagles were doing and find ways to limit it, no matter how quickly it was run.

Meanwhile the Eagles were last in time of possession in each of Kelly’s three years, and the defense suffered: it was 29th in total yards allowed in 2013, 28th last year and is 30th this season. Possessing the ball doesn’t always equate to winning — four of the top 10 teams in that category this season have a losing record — but the Eagles consistently gave the other team too many chances.

Kelly is a football coach who, like many of his peers, gives the most cryptic of answers about even the simplest football questions. This is partially because he does not want to give away anything that could tip off the other team, but also because he wants to uphold the idea that football is complicated beyond the comprehension of a common fan.

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