Why the Bills need to hire Chip Kelly
by Tom Mehs
Hiring Chip Kelly would be a great, fantastic and possibly franchise saving move for this team and Russ Brandon. And I believe that this is the goal of the team.
Quite simply, the hiring of Kelly would signal that this team and in particular Russ Brandon are serious about changing the culture and the ways of this franchise. It would prove that this new administration is willing to not stay in the “classic” way of thinking that has held back this team for years. Kelly is an innovative coach who is not bound by the traditional thinking of the other coaches on the market like Wisenhunt, Smith, Horton, McCoy, etc.
But it really goes deeper than that. Kelly is the hottest and most desired coaching prospect on the market this year. He will, without a doubt, get a larger contract with a greater commitment than any other coach that will be hired this offseason. By making the commitment to a man like Kelly the Bills can show the rest of the NFL – players, coaches, administrators, etc that they are serious about attempting to build a winning franchise and are willing to take a risk to succeed and are willing to do something that this team is not known for – spending money on somebody that is not a player to make this team successful. Furthermore, it will energize a fanbase and possibly the corporate fanbase to support this team and possibly even help remove the stigma from the team of being a team that never succeeds at anything they attempt to do.
The Bills have a 7 year or less window to make this franchise viable as a NFL team again or else they are in a position to be very possibly leaving this area. Let’s not fool ourselves – the area does not really have a corporate base to easily support a NFL team, especially one that is going to be looking at building a new stadium. The hiring of somebody like Kelly can change all of that by making the team successful and make it so new ownership has a stronger reason to stay in the Buffalo area.
Will he succeed? I don’t know that and neither does anybody else. What I do know is that none of know is if any of the other candidates will succeed. Is somebody like Lovie Smith (a coach I like and respect and is probably my #2 choice and was my #1 choice when the Bills hired Mularkey) a safer choice? Probably. Smith can probably get this team to win 9 or 10 games and into the playoffs just based on is acumen on defense. Kelly is likely a boom or bust candidate. But what I do know is that I would rather see this team fail with Kelly than fail with any of the other coaches that are obtained through the same, old tired ways.
For the fist time since the K-Gun offense, I want to hear about the Bills being innovative. I want to hear about the Bills going out on limb. 13 years in a row without the playoffs and really without even a sniff of the playoffs has me reay to watch this team take the risk. Do not take the same old route and go down the same road. Try something new. If it fails, you can at least have the respect and perception that you did something to try and reverse the fortunes of the franchise. Hiring anybody else will be seen as staying in the same pattern that this team has been in for way too long.
The good news is that based on the Brandon new conference I really think that this is the goal of this team. The entire tone and message of the message seemed to me to be something being sent to Kelly. The talk of being innovative and aggressive. The use of analytics. These are all things that should appeal to a guy like Kelly. Having a press conference to announce the change from Ralph Wilson to Russ Brandon was to be expected. The message delivered was not. Say what you will about Brandon, but he is not a dumb man. There is a reason that he delivered that message in such a strong way.
Last year you started that change with the signing of Mario Williams to an insanely huge deal. Take the next step and do the same with Chip Kelly.
The very future of this franchise in Buffalo might depend on it.