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As a coach, Chip Kelly is elite; his NFL tenure ended poorly because he was a bad GM

Chip Kelly with Eagles
Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images

Florida fans see what Chip Kelly did at Oregon and salivate.

A 46-7 record, going 33-3 in conference play, can do that.

Oregon averaged 44.7 points per game in the Kelly era. Those are unthinkable numbers for a Gators fan who has witnessed nearly a decade of awful offenses.

Then, UF fans see Kelly’s four-year NFL run that flamed out quickly and smell a stench. Don’t.

Here’s what Florida fans need to know about Chip Kelly in the NFL: His offense worked. The Eagles ranked second in total yards in 2013, fifth in 2014 and 12th in 2015.

RELATED: You think you know Florida’s next coach? You don’t know

The Eagles went 10-6 in each of Kelly’s first two seasons. That was good enough to get in the playoffs in Kelly’s first year. But he got power hungry, and that’s when his NFL career began to derail. He convinced Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie to hand him control of the roster over general manager Howie Roseman (a Florida alum, by the way). Kelly began reshaping a quality roster with some bad decisions.

• He traded star running back LeSean McCoy for linebacker Kiko Alonso.

• He cut speedy receiver DeSean Jackson.

• He signed running back DeMarco Murray to a lucrative contract, but Murray was a bad fit in his scheme.

• He traded a second-round pick, a fourth-round pick and quarterback Nick Foles for quarterback Sam Bradford.

• He allowed receiver Jeremy Maclin to leave in free agency.

The Eagles were 6-9 in Kelly’s third season and Lurie fired Kelly before he could do more damage to the roster.

Why should that bother Florida? College football teams aren’t built the same. Kelly and his staff will recruit speed, and speed will be attracted to his innovative scheme.

You can’t make trades in college football. You can sign the best players. There is no draft. The sport isn’t set up to promote parity. A team can sign as many five-star prospects as it can.

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