Eagles

The 3 main ways Chip Kelly failed the Eagles

Eagles

Chip Kelly failed as a personnel evaluator, failed as a game manager and failed as a leader.

Had he excelled in any one of those areas, he probably would still be employed by the Eagles.

But instead, it's three strikes and you're out.

The problems caused by Kelly's personnel decisions have been well-documented. From DeMarco Murray to Kiko Alonso to, perhaps most importantly, the inexplicable decision to neglect the offensive line, Kelly has left a mess for his successor. How you trade for a quarterback recovering from two straight ACL injuries and sign a running back coming off a historic workload yet fail to strengthen the O-line is baffling.

For years we listened to Andy Reid preach about the importance of the line, and Kelly's at times was impotent. That offense was fireable in itself.

 

Kelly the head coach was maddening too. It's only fitting that the turning point in his final game was a botched pitch to Murray, the North-South downhill runner Kelly supposedly coveted.

Running backs coach Duce Staley once said Murray was a "perfect fit" for the Eagles because he would give them "one, two, three, four yards and a cloud of dust."

"Downhill. Full steam ahead."

So much for that. 

Then there's all that time of possession doesn't matter nonsense. This isn't Madden. These are human beings. Defenses wear down, and the Eagles' D has faltered after a promising start.

 

Lastly, and this isn't as significant as the previous offenses, but with the season on the line, the initial decision to punt (they ultimately went for it) midway through the fourth quarter Saturday night against Washington was bizarre.

On to strike three: Kelly's problematic people skills. Players clearly didn't feel the same affection for Kelly as they did for Andy Reid.

Forget what the petulant LeSean McCoy said and listen to the level-headed Brandon Boykin, who claimed Kelly couldn't relate to his players. A major part of a head coach's job is to be a motivator. Doesn't sound like Kelly motivated Boykin one bit.

Boykin implied Kelly was socially awkward, and this sentiment apparently extended beyond the locker room and into the rest of the NovaCare Complex too.

This move is stunning because Kelly leaves with a 26-21 record. Two 10-6 seasons should have earned him one more shot to fix it. The guy almost hired instead of Kelly, Gus Bradley, is 12-35 with the Jaguars and will return for the final year of his contract.

Kelly has two more years on his contract. The worst the Eagles can finish is 6-10, not 1-15. Then again, the Eagles certainly have looked like a 1-15 team a few times this season. The blowout losses to Detroit and Tampa and Arizona — two of the three on national TV no less — didn't do anything for Kelly's cause.

Had his players backed him up, Kelly likely would still be here. But they didn't, and he's gone.

As CSN's Derrick Gunn noted, upon hearing the news of Kelly's firing, several players texted him, "It's about time."

Indeed it was.