After 3 seasons as the head coach of the Eagles Chip Kelly was relieved of his duties by Owner Jeffrey Lurie. The announcement came right around the 7 PM hour Tuesday night. There are so many moving parts and every minute there are new reports coming out about why and how but I’ll try to make sense of it all with this blog.
Here is a good timeline from delawareonline.com from start to finish on Chip Kelly.
What Chip did to this franchise in 3 years is really remarkable and not in a good way. It was clear Andy’s time had ran out but he did leave Chip with a lot of talent. Talent Chip would eventually lead to a 10-6 record after a 4-12 record in Andy’s last year. Chip famously said “Culture will beat scheme” everyday. It’s clear that isn’t the case. To be honest the culture around this team sucked anyway thanks to Kelly. A major factor that led to this downfall. In addition to the rugged exterior, baffling personnel decisions and horrendous media relations Kelly was a bad game day coach. At Oregon Chip was never out coached because the talent gap was so wide it hid any flaws.
Chip’s 3rd year concluded with multiple square pegs in round holes. He built a team that just didn’t fit. After receiving full personnel control (more on that to come) he made multiple decisions as a GM that he couldn’t overcome as a head coach. This team struggled because of talent and absolutely fell apart because of scheme. Lurie had no choice but to move on. As mentioned before Kelly was bad at media relations. His holier than now routine soured the fan base including the owner. Now that Kelly has been fired there have been multiple reports that said there were rumblings this was going to happen at years end. What made Lurie pull the trigger now? This is just speculation but I believe it was the Monday presser (after the Skins game) where Kelly blatantly lied saying he “wasn’t the GM” passing all blame to the front office and including this players. Jeffrey Lurie had enough!
This Eagles team was arguably the laughing stock of the league in the 2015 NFL season. A team nationally touted as SB champs by everyone including myself was a major disappointment. This Eagles team was blown-out in 4/8 games coming down the stretch. Three of them came on national TV with 2 at home. Fans across the country saw a team spiraling out of control with an empty stadium come crunch time. Jeffrey Lurie had no choice.
Jeffrey Lurie did the right thing by firing Kelly. Lurie is by no means clear of any blame. He is culpable in this mess as well. He blindly handed over personnel control to an unprepared head coach. Something he has done before on multiple occasions. Ray Rhodes, Andy Reid and now Chip Kelly have failed to put a winning team on the field with both coaching and front office responsibility. Responsibility giving to them but owner Jeffrey Lurie. Here is the letter written by Jeffrey Lurie explaining his decision.
In order for a team to be successful there needs to be full organizational cohesiveness from the front office to the coaching staff to the grid-iron. This report from PFT if true is slamming indictment on Lurie and the Eagles as an organization. Jeffrey Lurie needs to steady the ship and start moving this team towards it’s ultimate goal. Last night I thought this vacancy would be a top job. It’s clear that’s not the case. The Eagles might be hard pressed to find a top candidate because of the organizational flux. I think Jeffrey Lurie is a good owner. He doesn’t meddle like other owners. We hear from him twice a year. At the beginning and end of each year. This year it’s a little different due to other circumstances. He doesn’t make it about himself like other owners. From that standpoint he is a fantastic owner.
This is a good way to start the new year in my opinion. Moving forward with a new organizational direction and new coach. This won’t be a quick fix. I expect a year or 2 of sub .500 football.
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