He would know, too. Let’s pause to review the reasons why LaMichael James — the former Oregon Duck — is well versed in Chip Kelly’s offensive Jedi ways:
- James’ first year in Oregon (2009) was also Kelly’s first year. In that first season, James averaged 118.9 rushing yards per game. What you’re thinking is correct: Division I college football isn’t supposed to be that easy, regardless of the opponent.
- That doesn’t factor in his versatility and receiving yardage. Throughout James’ three seasons under Kelly he accumulated 5,668 total yards.
- Yes, that’s an average of 1,889 yards per season, and 6.9 yards per touch.
There are, of course, so many intricacies to what Kelly does with his innovative, up-tempo spread-option approach. When we eventually get some clarity regarding who Kelly’s quarterback will be in Philadelphia between Michael Vick and Nick Foles, our very own Alen Dumonjic — who spends every waking hour with his eyes taped open while eating Jiffy Pop and watching game film — will break down the finer points of Kelly’s offense more thoroughly. But there’s a simple, yet fundamental requirement: he needs elite athletes. Lots of elite athletes.
For example, while Marshawn Lynch had an excellent season, he may not quite be an ideal fit for a Kelly offense due to his power downhill running style, and his minimal presence in the passing game (he finished with only 196 receiving yards). But a Kelly-LeSean McCoy marriage just made me cover myself in saliva. Toss in the equally Kelly-like players the Eagles’ offense has in DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and maybe Vick, and there’s a high fantasy ceiling in Philly after this hire.