The Oregon/Stanford game last Saturday night was a big game for any NFL team that will be looking for a coaching change. Stanford’s David Shaw and Oregon’s Chip Kelly should be the biggest coaching names out there who are actually still working. There will be some big name assistant coaches out there as well like Denver’s Mike McCoy, Cincinnati’s Mike Zimmer and Bears’s Jon Hoke, but Shaw and Kelly are attractive hires because of what they have done as head coaches even at the college level.
This was a big game for David Shaw and his chances of getting a NFL head coaching offer. He beat the number two ranked team in the nation, he did it in their house and he did it because his style won out. Shaw runs more of a pro style offense with multiple tights and and backs instead of spreading the field with four or five wide receivers.
Chip Kelly utilizes speed better than any other coach in america. Speed is useless without some physicality on your football team, just ask any Eagle fan. As innovative as a coach as Kelly is, it means nothing when you get beat up front. I wouldn’t call Kelly a soft coach by any stretch, but his team did get beat up by an academic school.
Stanford won the game in overtime 17-14, but they had to overcome three turnovers, and a dropped pass on what should of been a fourth down conversion. It was impressive to see a Stanford team beat a highly ranked team like Oregon on the road with a freshman quarterback making just his second start.
David Shaw has gotten the most out of his players in just his second season as Stanford’s head coach, taking over after Jim Harbaugh left for the San Francisco 49ers. His players are physical, they tackle well and they rarely beat themselves. Before becoming Stanford’s head coach, he was the offensive coordinator and helped groom Andrew Luck.
Before Stanford, Shaw served as an offensive assistant with Harbuagh at the University of San Diego and was an NFL offensive assistant from 1997-2005, including his first season under Ray Rhodes in Philadelphia.
Shaw has enough NFL experience and head coaching experience at Stanford to make me think he would be a great NFL head coach right away. He is an offensive guru who plays physical football and manages the game beautifully.
Chip Kelly is a risky hire at this point. He has no NFL experience, but everyone knows he has a lot of potential as a NFL head coach. He is an innovator who believes in getting as many total plays on offense as opposed to just time of possession. What worries me about Kelly is how easily his Oregon team got man-handled by Stanford. There are a lot of physical teams in the NFL. Would that happen quite frequently at the next level for a Chip Kelly led team?
As of right now, David Shaw is my top choice for the next Eagles head coach. He earned it with a big win last Saturday. There will be a lot of candidates Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie will consider before he and his front office make that decision.