The San Francisco 49ers (1-7) have lost seven straight games, including six by double figures. In fact, the 49ers have lost by an average of 17.3 points this season, and they have been held under 20 points in four of their last six games.
Is it time for Chip Kelly to go back to college?
“I don’t think the NFL is built for what he wants to do because he’s a finesse coach,” NFL analyst Jamie Dukes said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “I think his offense works. As a matter of fact, I know his offense works because it was sitting in the Super Bowl last year run by Cam Newton. So for those who say that Chip Kelly’s offense doesn’t work, I disagree with that. But what I would say, though, is one of the mistakes that he has made – and a lot of these offensive gurus make – is they underestimate the importance of physicality. Carolina’s running the same offense, but they are a physical, physical offensive line. They struggle protecting Cam, but they come off that ball. Those guards and the center, they get after it. Even the tackles (get after it).
“So I think that’s the real issue for Chip,” Dukes continued. “If he had a guy like a Mike Tice (as) his offensive line coach, then I think it would work. Because you have to have somebody with NFL experience to understand how tough this league is, and if you don’t have that – and you think you can just run sideline-to-sideline and be cute and sling it all around – that’s not how the National Football League works when it comes to winning championships.”
Brian Jones, however, does not believe Kelly’s system can work in the NFL. He’s fine with incorporating some elements of it and throwing in some wrinkles here and there, but for Jones, Kelly’s system can’t be the end-all, be-all for an offense.
“The reason I disagree with that is had the Carolina Panthers protected Cam Newton, (they might have won the Super Bowl),” Dukes said. “That’s why Aaron Rodgers is mortal. All of these quarterbacks who become mortal, (it’s usually because of protection). Here’s a great stat for you. Von Miller, every one of his sacks last year was versus a Pro Bowl quarterback. My point to you is that if you are physical the way Carolina is physical, you can win a Super Bowl. Carolina could have won a Super Bowl if they would have double-teamed as opposed to leaving the tackles out there the way they left them out there. They could have won that game last year. So to me, that says that that offense can win, but there’s a mindset piece that has to go with that. Because that offense was in the Super Bowl and it could have won that Super Bowl had they had a better game plan as far as how to protect with some very special players that rushed the passer. . . . If you can’t protect the quarterback, then it all is for naught.”