Kelly inherits a team that has plenty of talent, along with a reputation for underachieving. He will undoubtedly install a version of the speedy Oregon offense in Philadelphia, and Michael Vick seems to be the perfect fit to run it.
The Eagles should be better next season, if only because it’s hard to get worse than the team that sleepwalked its way to a 4-12 record this year.
But Kelly is taking a chance and it’s a career chance. He goes from a school that is a perennial contender for the national title to a league where only the New England Patriots are perennial contenders for the Super Bowl.
There are no cupcakes on the schedule, no guarantees that the team he fields will be any better than the one he takes over.
And the trail is littered with coaches with big reputations who have gone before him and failed.
Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)ap.org or http://twitter.com/timdahlberg