Jimmy Johnson is a fan of Chip Kelly and ‘likes what he’s doing’

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has earned praise from legendary coach Jimmy Johnson.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

By Gordon Dixon 

Since taking over as Eagles head coach, Chip Kelly has compiled a 20-12 record in two seasons. He’s also taken quite a bit of criticism for roster moves that include trading LeSean McCoy as well as cutting Evan Mathis and DeSean Jackson. It’s largely Chip Kelly’s way or the highway in Philadelphia and one Super Bowl winning coach likes what he sees from him so far.

Jimmy Johnson knows what it’s like to make decisions that aren’t popular or well received, having done so with the Cowboys in the early 90s. It obviously worked for him and Johnson sees things to like about what Kelly is doing as well.

“I’m a fan of Chip Kelly,” Johnson told Peter King’s MMQB. “I like what he’s doing. The biggest concern I have is that even though they’ve been the healthiest team in the league the last couple years, because of his holistic approach with sports science and nutrition, he’s taking some big risks trading and obtaining players with major injuries. That’s the only concern I have.”

As Johnson noted, the success of this year’s Eagles team will be dependent on players who have had trouble staying healthy in recent years.

Gone is Nick Foles, who is replaced by Sam Bradford. Bradford played in just seven games in 2013 due to a torn ACL and missed all of last season after tearing the same ACL again. The Eagles also signed Ryan Matthews to a three-year deal. Matthews has played in 16 games just once during his five-year career and missed 10 games a year ago. In the LeSean McCoy trade, Philadelphia received Kiko Alonso, who missed the entire 2014 season after tearing his ACL, in return.

Chip Kelly has gained the reputation of being able to plug players into his system and have it operate just a smoothly no matter is running it. The upcoming season will be another test for that theory but, at this point, it’s tough to best against Kelly making it work yet again.


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