Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/13/13
Before the second play of his first NFL game Philadelphia's new head coach Chip Kelly a man who made his reputation as the architect of college football's most prolific offense — the Oregon Ducks' fast-break spread-it-out attack — did the unthinkable: He had his team huddle. He followed this with another knee-weakening moment: His quarterback Michael Vick lined up under center an alignment from which the Eagles ran a basic run to the left. For 31 other NFL teams this would be as ho-hum as it gets. But this is Chip Kelly he of the fast practices fast plays and fast talking. By starting out this way Kelly who repeatedly has said he doesn't do anything without a sound reason behind it was no doubt sending some kind of message to fans pundits and opposing coaches waiting anxiously to see what a Chip Kelly offense would look like at the professional level. It was a message that was unmistakable: See I can adapt to the NFL. At least that’s what I thought at first. But after studying Philadelphia's game against New England I came away with almost the exact opposite conclusion: While there were clear differences from what Kelly’s system looked like at Oregon his Eagles offense looked a lot more like the Ducks offense than I ever anticipated. Preseason game plans are often described as being "vanilla" and rightly so. The ostensible purpose of the preseason — other than as an opportunity to put more football on TV which I'm not complaining about — is to evaluate talent as rosters get cut to 53 and players compete for starting spots. Given that preseason football is essentially practice with game uniforms there is no incentive for a team to reveal its intentions for when the real games begin.
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