A Lesson on Offense, from Chip Kelly

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Oregon head coach Chip Kelly obviously knows a thing or two about offense. In fact, TSL Subscriber Baltimore Hokie ran down this article, which is from a coaching clinic in 2011. In the article (which seems to be a transcript of a talk Kelly gave at the coaching clinic), Kelly breaks down his philosophies and what makes his offense (and program) successful. You can read the entire article here … it’s a long one, so make sure you clear out 20-30 minutes from your schedule before you start reading:

Click here for article

For those that don’t have the time, I’m going to go over some of the main points of the article and discuss how they apply to Virginia Tech’s offense, or program in general.

Point 1: Have an Identity

In the first part of his talk, Kelly made it clear that having an identity on the offensive side of the ball is important. The following quote stood out to me …

When I took over at the University of Oregon, the first thing we had to find out was ‘What do we stand for?’ You have to answer that in your offensive, defensive, and special team philosophies. If you are going to stand for something, it is not what you say it is. It is what people see in your actions. People should be able to come, observe you, and in five minutes know what you stand for. That is the great thing about this game. There are so many choices of philosophies in this game. You have to decide what it is you want to do, and then do it. Do not be the coach who runs a play offense. That coach constantly adds plays that he likes and sees on TV or at a pro football game. Before he knows it, his offense is a mile wide of nothing but plays. He has nothing in that mass of plays to hang his hat on. Your players cannot say, ‘This is what we are.’ I suggest you take a long look at your program and identify what you want to be.

I bolded and italicized the part that really stood out to me. In short, Chip Kelly said what we’ve been saying for a long time now, only he phrased it like a well-spoken football coach. You can’t be a jack of all trades and a master of none.

When I watch Oregon play, it’s clear to me within five minutes what type of offense they run. It’s a fast paced, spread