Tuesday, September 10, 2013

At Long Last Love: Chip Kelly's Moment Of Awesome

Go, GO, GO...
Before the glow of last night's game fades into the inevitable Eagle Fan squabbling that they didn't play as well in the second half as they did in the first -- seriously, folks? We watched a 4-12 team last year and we're going to quibble about style points in an opening night road win? -- I need to point out a Moment of Awesome.

Here's the first seven plays of the game last night. Note the one in bold.

15:00 1st & 10, PHI20
Michael Vick passed to Riley Cooper to the left for 6 yard gain
14:35 2nd & 4, PHI26
Michael Vick passed to Brent Celek down the middle for 28 yard gain
14:14 1st & 10, WAS46
Michael Vick passed to DeSean Jackson to the left for 16 yard gain
14:07 1st & 10, WAS30
LeSean McCoy rushed to the right for 6 yard gain
13:38 2nd & 4, WAS24
Michael Vick incomplete pass to the right
13:33 3rd & 4, WAS24
LeSean McCoy rushed to the right for 3 yard gain
13:09 4th & 1, WAS21
LeSean McCoy rushed up the middle for 4 yard gain

To repeat: on fourth and one from the Washington 21, Kelly goes for it without hesitation, on the road, in his first game as an NFL coach, in front of a national audience. He doesn't think about what might happen if it doesn't work, or how the media is going to kill him if it fails. He doesn't take a time out to figure out what he's going to do, because he knew what he was going to do on third and four -- call two runs if need be, because Washington has chosen to play nickel and defend the pass, and go for it if McCoy came up just short.

And what does he do on the fourth and one? He doesn't send in the big power personnel, since that would let the defense swap out players as well. He doesn't send in a reserve back, or make his QB risk injury. He just runs it right up the gut, putting it in the hands of his best player, and he does it without dithering about the play call, staring at his play sheet or any of the other absolutely maddening mannerisms of the Andy Reid Era. And the play call? Basic power football.

No counter-trap trickery, no delegation to some fungible third down Chad Hall-ish fodder, no play-action to a single tertiary Clay Harbor-esque target. We've got a line, we've got the best back in the game, I know I'm right and go Go GO, I got plays to call once we're in the red zone.

In the final analysis, it didn't win or lose the game. It won't even be remembered by most people for very long, especially since the drive ended in a disaster turnover and touchdown. But what it said -- that there's a new sheriff in town, that he's not going to go down like the old guy, and that we're going to make the defense make plays in ways that are far outside of their comfort zone -- made me happier than anything I've seen in the laundry in years.

No comments:

Ads In This Size Rule