Not with Chip Kelly. Not with the coaching genius destined to change the NFL and how it does things. Not with the Xs and Os savior for a fan base dying to experience a Super Bowl victory. Not with the guy who can do no wrong, even in the wake of making what seem like Sam Hinkie-type moves.
But here I am … feeling sorry for the man.
Regardless of what you think about his system, his on-field acumen, his personal background or his “sworn to secrecy” connections, this, for lack of better wording, attacking of his character just seems so out of place, so unnecessary, so immature.
The current unrest created by departed d-back Brandon Boykin’s comments about Kelly’s inability to relate to players, how he doesn’t understand their culture, is as inane as his words were obscure and misleading.
When you cut through all the BS and racial undertones, or, in the case of LeSean McCoy, outright proclamations, this is what you get: young men who claim they wanted to be treated as men, as professionals, as anything other than college student-athletes, yet whose measurement of such treatment is ensconced in a campus environment.
Want to be able to talk to your coach about life outside of football? Want to have your coach understand you and your personal life?
Sorry, that may sound nice and cozy and comfy, but it certainly doesn’t qualify as a measurement for being treated as a professional. Instead, it sounds the classic MO for a college coach.
Put bluntly, it’s not fair to judge Kelly on those parameters. It’s a never-ending Catch-22 for him. Coming from the college ranks, he’s already been tagged with the scarlet letter of “he’s a college coach, he’s always going to be a college coach … in how he acts, he how he treats players.” Now, he’s criticized for not acting like one, and then still stuck with the “college” label.
Whether the move makes sense or not, going off Boykin’s play, is immaterial. Players are asking, no, check that, they’re demanding that he give them the freedom and benefits of being grown men, but then continue to “father” them, if not baby them, just as if they were still in college, or even high school.
Umm, how many people out there feel they have great communication with their bosses, who believe their bosses are comfortable around them? It’s silly to suggest that as the norm when it isn’t, and never has been, and never will be. A superior isn’t about being a buddy, it’s about leading and directing and getting the most out of those who are under his or her charge.
If you get the buddy mixed in, more power to you.
But hoping for it, or expecting it, or even demanding it from Kelly is ludicrous. The guy is socially awkward, self-involved and totally unaware of things that have little to no direct relation to his professional endeavor.
Most geniuses are that way.
- Jack Kerwin | email@example.com