Kelly’s Problems Reach Into South Florida
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Chip Kelly's reputation continues to take on water even outside of Philadelphia.
Just hours after their latest embarrassing loss, a 38-20 rout at the hands of the shorn Ryan Fitzpatrick and the New York Jets, the Miami Dolphins parted ways with offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, blaming the former Kelly acolyte for the troubling regression of perceived franchise quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who is fresh off a six-year, $96 million contract extension in the offseason.
Lazor's pink slip came just seven weeks after Miami bid adieu to his former boss, Joe Philbin, and his Doppelganger on the defensive side of the ball, defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle.
It's now abundantly clear the Dolphins are clearing the decks for 2016 and interim head coach Dan Campbell sees the writing on the wall.
For now Lazor serves as the latest sacrificial lamb for perhaps the NFL's biggest underachiever with the spin designed on saving the investment in Tannehill.
Lazor, of course, was Kelly's quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia before defensive coaches around the NFL figured out the latter's scheme.
That made Lazor a hot commodity because the Eagles offense was a top-five unit thought to be on the cutting edge of offensive football.
Philbin brought in Lazor in to implement Kelly's vision in South Florida minus the constant focus on tempo, something akin to buying a new car without the actual engine.
After all, now that defensive coordinators around the league have removed the emperor's clothes in Philly, it's evident that the Eagles coach is a one-trick pony and pace is S-8 on his now infamous play card.
When Kelly was riding high, his offense was often described as "quarterback proof," meaning he could succeed with any signal caller, be they Joe Montana or Nick Foles.
The real description, however, should be "dumbed down" because the last thing Kelly wants -- and by extension Lazor -- is a quarterback who thinks for himself.
It's one-read and go in order to get to the next play in Kelly's scheme and the leader has no ability to audible out of a bad play and into a good one, making QBs like Montana, Tom Brady or Peyton Manning ill-suited for the scheme.
And when you don't want to take advantage of the smartest guy on the field, well it's time to look in the mirror.
The Dolphins often rave about Tannehill's football IQ but Lazor limited his ability to change things at the line of scrimmage and the QB's skills are atrophying.
Does that sound familiar Philadelphia?
And if "limited" is indeed the correct adjective to describe what was going on in Miami, Lazor actually proved to be a lot more open-minded than his one-time teacher in Philadelphia, who simply does not allow the signal caller to change his play calls.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen