Crash­ing and burn­ing

How long will for­mer Ea­gles coach Kelly last at UCLA?

The Morning Call - - VARSITY - By Zack Rosen­blatt

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?

KAREEM ELGAZZAR/THE CINCIN­NATI EN­QUIRER/AP

UCLA coach Chip Kelly calls a play dur­ing the first half of a game against Cincin­nati on Aug. 29.

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