Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

26 Mar 2013

Chip Kelly Downplays Fourth-Down Reputation

Don't pussy out on us, Chip.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 26 Mar 2013

10 comments, Last at 29 Mar 2013, 2:11pm by Kal


by fb29 :: Tue, 03/26/2013 - 11:51am

woah just throwin' the word pussy around on the interwebs. this really is a football website

by bearbearbear :: Tue, 03/26/2013 - 12:42pm

Take a deep breath fb29, I think it was one of those "joke" things.

by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 03/26/2013 - 2:15pm

Yes, besides, pussies are even cuter than puppies.

by InTheBoilerRoom :: Tue, 03/26/2013 - 12:47pm

It seemed pretty clear to me that he stressed taking into consideration the capabilities of his team when making those decisions, which we can all agree is the correct thinking. I didn't see a quote there in which he said that he wouldn't go for it on 4th downs, just that he considers the balance of strength of his kicking game, offense, and defense. So, he's not going to blindly go for it on every 4th down like an idiot, rather he will put thought into his decision making. What a novel idea!

by komakom (not verified) :: Tue, 03/26/2013 - 5:58pm

The problem is that this is what NFL coaches say they do now, and they usually get it wrong.

by dbostedo :: Tue, 03/26/2013 - 9:02pm

Yeah - the problem isn't thought, and most people aren't advocating for blind adherence to going for it on fourth down. But almost all fourth down decisions are judgement calls requiring thought, and most times coaches choose not too just out of fear (I think, whether they realize it or not). And I'd rather a coach risk being an idiot and go for it a bit too much, than the other way around. Risk aversion is very powerful in the NFL, and the fear is that it will get a hold of even Chip Kelly.

by Kal :: Fri, 03/29/2013 - 2:11pm

It may - but he did go for it on his own 40 a few times. In the first and second quarters. Not a lot of coaches will do that regardless.

I think he'll do it less from the orange zone or whatever it's called. But I think he'll continue to go for it far more frequently than the average, and in cases where many others wouldn't dare do it. He'll almost certainly go for 2 a lot more often as well.

by MehlLageman56 (not verified) :: Wed, 03/27/2013 - 2:48am

Why would he tell people, i.e., opponents, his true strategy right now? Let them find out how often he will go for it on first down during the season, when they have less time to prepare. And don't say anything about two point conversions.

by LionInAZ :: Wed, 03/27/2013 - 5:55pm

Doesn't this call for an analysis of how often Kelly went for it at Oregon and how it stacks up against other Div I coaches? Can't criticize if the reality doesn't match the myth.

by JMM* (not verified) :: Thu, 03/28/2013 - 1:57am

There is a Robopunter element to his reasoning. Better kicking beats more kicking.