It is a fading memory now, at least in NFL coaching-cycle terms, but Kelly had success in his first two seasons with the Eagles in 2013 and ’14. He went 10-6 in each season and reached the playoffs once.
That alone puts him in a different category than, say, Steve Spurrier, who returned to college after going a combined 12-20 in two seasons with the Washington Redskins, or Saban, who exited in Miami after picking the wrong free-agent quarterback (Daunte Culpepper over Drew Brees) and going 15-17 in two seasons as head coach of the Dolphins.
Anyone who can coax a 27-touchdown, two-interception season out of Nick Foles, as Kelly did with the Eagles in 2013, can coach. In Kelly’s first two seasons in Philadelphia, the Eagles ranked second and then fifth in the league in total offense. They were in the top 10 in both rushing offense and passing offense in each season. They were fourth and then third in the league in scoring.
Roethlisberger got his team lined up assuming the spike play was the one the Steelers wanted. It would have stopped the clock and given the coaches a chance, on fourth down, to kick a tying field goal or — unlikely — go for the win on fourth down.
Look at Colin Kaepernick, who remains unemployed. He actually has taken a team to a Super Bowl, unlike Griffin. He actually had a reasonably productive 2016 season, unlike Griffin. He can’t get a quarterbacking job in the league. Griffin is doing himself no favors.
The feeling here when the Cleveland Browns gave up on Griffin after last season, after the Redskins gave up on Griffin a year earlier, was that Griffin was not out of NFL chances. He perhaps was out of starting quarterback opportunities. But surely someone would give him one last chance to recapture his rookie-year magic, right?
Carr: Whether Coughlin’s a head coach or the executive vice president of football operations, he has his hand in everything. Most coaches or executives just expect their players to professionally do their jobs. Yet, during his coaching days, Coughlin — who always let his coordinators and assistants game plan and coach up players, regardless of their coaching title — often times went around to talk with individual players, showing them weaknesses in their game and demanding the most out of them. He, like Belichick, doesn’t care if you’re an Eli Manning or a Tom Brady.