Chip Kelly Could Be The Latest Act In The Jacksonville Circus

The Jaguars reportedly have Chip Kelly as the frontrunner to become offensive coordinator, further complicating the Jacksonville hierarchy

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey may be calling it quits, but a new circus is opening up in Jacksonville.

In need of a new offensive coordinator, the Jacksonville Jaguars have named former Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly as the frontrunner to head the offense in the 2017 season according to a report Ian Rapport of NFL Network. Although on the surface hiring an offensive-minded former NFL coach to take charge of the offensive gameplan seems to be wise, the hiring of Kelly could result in too many generals and not enough soldiers.

The hiring of Chip Kelly would be eerily similar to the hiring of Tom Coughlin to be the executive vice president of football operations. Both originally came to Duval looking to fill the head coaching vacancy, following the firing of Gus Bradley, and both would be hired on to perform different duties than that to which they originally applied for.

In the case of Tom Coughlin, Jaguars owner Shahid Khan has said both general manager David Caldwell and new head coach Doug Marrone will answer to Coughlin, who will also have the final say in any disagreements. This concept essentially takes any personnel issues that either Caldwell or Marrone have and put them in Coughlin’s hands. In other words, if Coughlin doesn’t agree with a choice or change either of them make, he can overturn the decision.

With Chip Kelly now possibly entering the mix, there is the addition of a strong personality who is used to calling the shots in his own way. Now any decisions he makes, will have to pass multiple agreements in the front office. Kelly entered the NFL coaching world by bringing his own personal style of a quick-paced offense to the league. Even if Kelly can get Doug Marrone and David Caldwell to buy into his style of offense, pitching his concept to Tom Coughlin may not be the easiest sell given his old-school background.

Take the case of Blake Bortles as an example. After appearing to be the franchise quarterback of the future following his 2015 season, Bortles left many in doubt after a serious decline in his performance in 2016. Giving up on a player coming off a down year who was once thought to be the future at the quarterback position may be foolish, but what if he doesn’t fit the system?

Chip Kelly needs a certain type of quarterback to implement the type of offense he runs. If Blake Bortles doesn’t cut it, Kelly won’t have a choice but to change his offensive philosophies. Tom Coughlin has already been on record saying Bortles is the starter moving forward, so Kelly could be forced to adapt a philosophy that is better suited for Bortles’ strengths or risk standing in the unemployment line sooner rather than later.

One thing is for sure, if the Jaguars hierarchy does turn out to be a circus, it will be the furthest thing from the greatest show on Earth.

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