Root of it
Get a grip
Pick a Chip
Just a stunt
Time to bail
A little D
Who they are
No big deal
Fine in time
Play new card
Kelly's games as head coach
Kelly's wins in regular season
Kelly's losses in
Kelly's wins in
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Eagles scoring average in
Kelly's 1st year
Eagles scoring average in
his 2nd year
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his 3rd year
Nick Foles record as his starting QB
Didn’t think he had it in him.
With all the hemming, hawing, rationalizing, excuse-making, another-chance-to-make-things-right-granting that has been the signature touch to Jeffrey Lurie’s rein as Eagles owner when dealing with the men he placed in charge of running his team’s on-field activities, Tuesday night’s pronouncement that he had relieved Chip Kelly of his duties seemed so out of character.
Not wrong. Not bad. Just, well, different.
“Good” different, if anything, too.
Having created a pattern of falling head over heels for the football acumen of Ray Rhodes and Andy Reid and then struggling to move past some serious man-crushin’ on each when, clearly, the time to do so had come and gone long before, Lurie seemed to be set for another ’til death do we part tryst with his most recent head coach, especially after entrusting the latter to have full control over personnel.
The gushing he did over Kelly was enough to cause some blushing, especially for any self-aware individual within earshot who may have had an inkling or two that, “Umm, OK, we get it, you like the guy. You can cool your jets a little now.”
So the fact he was able to pull the plug on his latest “hero” so soon and so swiftly comes as a surprise.
A nice surprise.
If Kelly’s arrogance was enough to turn off Lurie somewhat, and his insistence on not surrendering any of his unwarranted power fueled the owner’s fire and led to his release, then hallelujah and praise be to the football gods … and sanity.
Not for nothing, but never got the Chip worship. His hiring in the first place, an almost sneaky, slimy exhibition in which two sides of shysters opted to unite while leaving a school and another coaching candidate in the lurch, had all the earmarks of an uninformed, caught-up-in-the-hoopla ode to hyperbole and hype.
Kelly was the trendy pick. The hot commodity. The “gotta have him” option. Even at the expense of common sense and decency. Never mind that he had been handed the keys to an elite sports car at the University of Oregon, already fully loaded and, even better, fully funded by Nike, and merely drove where just about any coach could have, Kelly was the “it” guy. A genius. A once-in-a-lifetime Xs and Os prodigy the likes of which had never been unearthed before.
Kudos to Gus Bradley landing in Jacksonville and building, albeit slowly, what appears to be a quality, young team, and Oregon’s football program continuing to succeed and reach another national title game two years after Kelly’s departure.
While those entities got squared away elsewhere, Philly got treated to the Kelly experience, where substance took a spot in the trunk while rapid-fire BS blathering and anal-retentive control freakishness battled it out for the front seat.
Win? Hah, who cares about that … as long as the team was doing things Chip’s way, in every way, that’s all that mattered.
Lacking personality and just the everyday sensibility to try to connect with those around him as human beings instead of labeling them as products in his assembly-line mind, you kinda figured his act would implode at some point. Be it here or someplace else. At least some of us did.
Those who automatically assume Kelly will succeed elsewhere are failing to get a clear picture. At Oregon, he was placed in a great situation and reaped the benefits. With the Eagles, he inherited some serious talent and benefitted from two “winning” stretches by Nick Foles, a 7-1 surge to end the 2013 regular season and a 6-2 start to kick off the 2014 campaign, that yielded a pair of 10-6 records and the Great Mind’s determination that a near-complete upheaval of the roster was needed to reach another level.
Well, he got it … a 6-9 plunge into the NFL abyss this season, a fall so dramatic and laced with so much drama that it actually got Lurie’s attention, to the point the owner actually realized change was needed and, even more important, was driven to act on that.
Lurie, frankly, created this mess. He’s the one who supposedly sweet-talked Kelly into taking the gig and not only pulled the trigger on it, but eventually removed anyone in Kelly’s path to attain absolute power.
It was silly on his part, and a lesson he should have learned when he gifted Reid much the same and the team’s demise soon followed.
That being said, Lurie, this time, recognized the error of his ways … and didn’t drag his feet in correcting the problem.
- Jack Kerwin | email@example.com
LEGIT OR NOT?
The names will flow for this opening, with the never-ending run-off of the usual candidates bandied about by fans and media, such as Jon Gruden, Bill Cowher, Brian Billick, Tony Dungy and the rest of that ilk. Here, we’ll try to offer a few names that seem more likely to be in the mix.
Panthers defensive coordinator
Former DC here who followed Ron Rivera to Carolina and has flourished the last four seasons in the same position. Put in a difficult position with the Eagles before, taking over for Jim Johnson following his death, McDermott (pictured above) does carry a bit of an asterisk with his recent success since the talent level he has at his disposal in Charlotte is far beyond what is here.
Bears offensive coordinator
He, apparently, is the hot assistant coach at the moment, in large part because Peyton Manning thinks so highly of him and hated to see him leave Denver for Chicago. The fact Jay Cutler showed marked improvement, especially with his patience and willingness to make the safer throw, under Gase’s watch this fall does nothing to hurt his chances.
Michigan head coach
Yeah, yeah, no college coaches for the Eagles this time around, right? Only Harbaugh comes with big-time NFL experience AND success, having racked up a 49-22-1 record, three NFC title-game appearances and a Super Bowl appearance with San Francisco. The fact he has taken the Wolverines from a dumpster fire right back to the elite ain’t too shabby, either.
Stanford head coach
The former wideout for the Cardinal has led his alma mater to a 53-14 mark and three Pac-12 titles since taking over in 2011, and supposedly is quite happy where he is. But he also has nine years’ experience as an NFL assistant, including one as a quality control coach for the Eagles. He happens to be the only minority on this list, which may appeal to Lurie.
Temple head coach
May seem a stretch for him to even be considered, but getting Temple out of a black hole and putting it front and center on a national stage in just three seasons is no small task. Plus, he has NFL experience as well, albeit just a one-year stint with the Giants before taking the gig with the Owls. Being in town already, and having professed his love for it, helps.
Interim Eagles head coach
Wouldn’t be my choice, especially since it was his rudimentary passing attack, not Chip Kelly’s, that the Birds have utilized since his return to Philly in 2013. But there can be something said for continuity and familiarity, and perhaps just having Kelly out of the mix is all this team really needed moving forward. Seems unlikely, but maybe it is.
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