There's no doubt that I jumped on the spread bandwagon this year in the
pros. I still find it about as interesting as anything going on out
there. And I'll acknowledge that the Chip Kelly experiment is still
young, but it's not really working. Granted, having a quarterback or
more than one receiver couldn't hurt - if the QB running is a
constraint, and the pass is a constraint, it's a better way of playing
the type of option football (in packaged plays).
When you only really have a RB out there of value, or only have one WR
you can reliably get the ball, it's not that useful to read the
defense's intentions. You know their intentions - they're stacking the
box. You know what they're going to do, you can't exploit their choice.
And I think, to a point, that might be the hard thing for the various
spread variants to get past. There's also no doubt that the Eagles,
and anybody else who might copycat this, will have to have a lot of good
depth in the future. They look tired.
Kelly might've taken it too far. I'm willing to watch and see how he
adapts, see how he deals with his top two QBs being out, and watch as
people kick his offensive style while he's down.
But the spread isn't dead. The truth is, to a degree, the Patriots and
Saints have been running it for years. Kelly throws a lot more of it in
the mix, something he's going to have to manage as he potentially deals
with a pro-style rookie quarterback. It'll take adjustment. I still
have some degree of concern for when it takes back off, however.