Crashing and burning
How long will former Eagles coach Kelly last at UCLA?
With each passing week, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie can feel good about the fact that he moved on from Chip Kelly before it was too late.
That works two-fold — Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman hit a home run hiring Doug Pederson to replace Kelly and have since won a Super Bowl. Also: Kelly has fast proven in two stops since his firing that his methods simply don’t work like they did in his Oregon days or early in his Eagles tenure.
He lasted one season with the 49ers in 2016 when San Francisco went 2-14 and he was promptly fired. He’s in Year 2 at UCLA after signing a 5-year, $23.3-million contract, and at this rate he might not last through the end of that deal.
The Bruins went 3-9 in Kelly’s first season, and opened the 2019 season with consecutive nonconference losses to Cincinnati and San Diego State. The Bruins only scored 14 points in each game, and fans in Westwood have already started to turn on the coach.
The Los Angeles Times ran a story this week that highlighted waning fan support and various parents of his players taking to social media to criticize him, both this season and in 2018. One parent suggested the Bruins made a mistake firing Jim Mora to hire Kelly, and he retweeted a fan’s message saying “your son deserves better than the $4.7 million little man.”
Last year, the father of the team’s starting quarterback levied similar criticism.
In typical Kelly fashion, he’s taken to using strange coaching methods to get his points across, too. Last year, in the middle of a game, Kelly forced his team to run a conditioning drill on the sideline.
On top of all of that, Kelly has struggled to recruit to UCLA, typically a recruiting power in the Pac-12, often reeling in the four- and five-star recruits that USC doesn’t bring in.
In 2019, Kelly only reeled in the nation’s 40th-best recruiting class, per 247sports.com, or sixth in the Pac-12.
UCLA has the 67th-ranked recruiting class committed for 2020 so far, with the X early signing period not far off. That’s eighth in the Pac-12. The Bruins were 19th in 2018, 20th in 2017, 13th in 2016, 12th in 2015 and 18th in 2014.
Kelly is putting on a brave face.
Per the Los Angeles Times, Kelly said recently: “You don’t tear up the root of the tree to see if it’s growing. You just keep watering it, you keep growing it and doing what you’re supposed to do. I think we all live in a society where we want a quick fix and an instant pill, but it doesn’t exist and it’s never existed in this game, so you just can’t say right now, ‘Hey, let’s run an entirely new defense and an entirely new offense.’
”You do that and you’d probably lose by 1,000, so you’ve got to be consistent and get better at what you do and what we’re good at.“
Kelly flamed out in Philadelphia after three seasons.
Will he even last for three at UCLA?
UCLA coach Chip Kelly calls a play during the first half of a game against Cincinnati on Aug. 29.