NCAA Takes, TooAthletic Takes

“You are what your record says you are,” is the old saying in sports, and for Chip Kelly, head football coach of the UCLA Bruins, his 3-10 record doesn’t lie.  Chip Kelly, like so many other great coaches in the recent history of football was going to change how the game was going to be played.  Never before had the football world seen what a Chip Kelly team was going to achieve on the field; but now, in his fourth head coaching job in 11 years, the shine is off the rose and Chip Kelly is just another also-ran who can’t figure out that his system just doesn’t work.

Chip Kelly has already lost more games at UCLA then during his entire four-team tenure as head football coach for their Pac-12 rivals Oregon where he was 46-7.  While the Ducks, as well as the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers have all recovered nicely since Kelly’s departure, the UCLA Bruins are dealing, and paying handsomely for the services of a coach that can’t figure out that his system doesn’t fit the players who are playing football.

If you listen to Chip Kelly tell the story, it was his team’s inexperience that did them in Thursday night in their 24-14 defeat at Cincinnati, the second straight season the Bearcats defeated the Bruins.  As Kelly pointed out, 48 new players are on the UCLA roster this year, with 87 players being freshman or sophomores; what Kelly never mentioned, however, what how badly both the offensive and defensive lines played.  Both of those units had as much experience as any on the Bruins’ team this year, yet Cincinnati, with two freshmen lineman, racked up 175 rushing yards.

UCLA fought hard and paid dearly ($23 Million over five years) to sign Chip Kelly; clearly they believed the head coach who ran rough shot over the Pac-12 ten years ago was going to run the program.  Instead, the Bruins got a once great coach who can’t understand why the players he has now are not performing the way they should in his mind.  Perhaps, after another down season, Chip Kelly will understand it is not the players who are not performing, but their coach; and perhaps then he will understand that his style of play doesn’t work as well as it once did, and it might be time for a, wait for it … change!


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