It’s the beginning of an era! One without Chip Kelly at the helm of the Philadelphia Eagles. The head coach and GM (just don’t tell Chip) was fired Tuesday, December 29th after the Eagles fell to 6-9 on the season with a loss against the NFC East Champion Washington Redskins. This was only Chip’s third year as the head coach of the Birds, coming over from Oregon in 2013 following the departure of long-time coach, Andy Reid.
Right from the start of the season, rumors were already swirling that Chip Kelly had lost his team and allegedly was, as former Eagles CB Brandon Boykin put it to CSN Philly’s Derrick Gunn, “uncomfortable around grown men of our culture”. What does this mean? Was Chip Kelly a racist? Did he have an issue with those who were verbal in the locker room? Maybe he just didn’t like how they fit into his scheme. While the third reason seems to be the one that many just settled on, I find that simply put, Chip Kelly has an alpha-male complex, or in more historic terms, a Napoleon complex (just look around, he isn’t exactly the tallest guy around).
Chip was able to turn the organization around in his first year going 10-6 and winning the NFC East, but the following year, despite having the same record, the Eagles missed out on the playoffs. He only made it 15 games this season before getting the boot after a 6-9 season, finishing with an overall record of 26-21 (.553). The most telling part of this entire saga was that despite literally EVERYONE knowing that Chip was both Head Coach and GM, with former GM Howie Roseman now being the “Executive Vice-President of Football Operations” for the organization, Chip refused to take the blame for it all. He pointed fingers, underscored his responsibility for, yes, trading or releasing the best offensive players on the team (DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy, even Nick Foles), he just would not accept that it was his fault. Couple all of this with the fact that he was very contentious with the media (but let’s face it, which coach isn’t? i.e. Jim Mora and “Playoffs?!”), and Chip Kelly had pretty much worn out his welcome in Philadelphia.
Now let me jump to the defense of both my fellow Philadelphians and Mr. Kelly as well. We are a restless bunch. The 2015-16 season is Super Bowl 50! The Eagles haven’t won a Championship since 1960, let alone a Super Bowl. Chip was the “savior”, and if I’m gonna be honest here, he did revolutionize the pace of the game and showed the rest of the league what an up-tempo offense was. His pace was so quick that the NFL actually started having the referees stand in the way of the lines to slow down Kelly’s offense and actually mandated that the refs run a certain time on a 40-yd dash, but don’t quote me on that! I think I’m right, and it sounds cool! So here we are..the end of Chip Kelly is upon us.
-Interim Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator, Pat Shurmur led the Eagles to a 35-30 win over the New York Giants to close out the season 7-9.
-Long-time Giants Head Coach, Tom Coughlin will resign. He led the G-Men to 2 Super Bowl wins over the New England Patriots
-The Eagles played 4 quarters of football for the first time this year
-Walter Thurmond III notched his 4th interception of the season, taking it back for a pick-six; he led the team in INTs
-With Coughlin resigning, the streak of 12 years ends between Eli Manning and Coughlin being together on the team (only Brady and Belichick have a longer tenure)