I’m just going to get straight to it. Jeffrey Lurie fucked up. Firing Chip Kelly less than a year after giving him full control of the roster is so Jerry Jones-esque. On so many levels this move makes zero sense.
Yes, the Eagles won 10 games under Chip in his first season, then 10 wins in his second, and only have accounted for 6 in his third season. Regression, I get it. But if Chip Kelly was on a one-year leash after the 2014 season, why give him full control of the roster? The releases, trades, and signing he all made, Lurie allows all of them, with the intention of him being on a one-year leash?
Firing Chip Kelly was an emotional move by Jeff Lurie. The 2015 season was complete and utter disappointment and Chip Kelly was the one to blame. No doubt about it. Regardless of how disappointing it is, as an owner who gives a head coach as much control as Lurie gave Chip, firing him after a year is about as bad of move as you can make.
Owners don’t have bosses. When they make mistakes, it’s sort of like “okay, who can I put the blame on?” Maybe Lurie shouldn’t have given Chip Kelly complete control in the offseason. But he did. Because of that, time and patience are needed. Lurie ignored that.
When a coach is hired, unless he goes in and wins less than 3 games, he’s typically given a second season to correct mistakes. Why was Chip Kelly the GM fired after just one season as if all the moves Kelly mae were wrong. Everyone points to the Murray signing, which I understand, but one move can’t trump all the others? Especially after so many moves that he made were right?
Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher, Todd Herremans and Evan Mathis, all cut after the 2014 season: Williams, Fletcher, and Herremans are all current free agents after being cut by teams they were signed by in the offseason. Mathis is riding the bench in Denver.
Nick Foles? Kelly traded him to the Rams. Foles was benched for Case Keenum. CASE KEENUM.
How about some signings that have panned out:
Byron Maxwell: Yes, it was a good signing. Byron Maxwell has played really well since he got torched by the best WR in the NFL in week one in Julio Jones.
Walter Thurmond: Heading into the season everyone wanted to know who’d play safety. Chip moved the ex-corner to safety and he had a solid season.
E.J. Biggers: Biggers had probably his best season of his career in 2015.
Yes, the Murray signing was bad, but don’t ignore the correct moves. Not giving Kelly an opportunity to salvage the mistakes he did make is such a premature decision by Lurie.
Bad franchises all have one thing in common: No structure. The Cleveland Browns, the Tennessee Titans, the Oakland Raiders, all seem to be in search of a new Head Coach every other offseason. The NFL is a win now league, but good franchises don’t abide by that.
The Cleveland Browns in 1995 fired a guy named Bill Belichick after 5 seasons, just two years later he won a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots. That was before Tom Brady was Tom Brady, by the way. In 2002, the Oakland Raiders decided to trade Jon Gruden to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after Gruden coached for 4 seasons in Oakland, going 38-26 with 2 postseason appearances. The following year Jon Gruden won the Super Bowl with the Bucs.
Coaches in the NFL typically fail if they don’t have one of two things: A good quarterback or a great defense. Last offseason, Chip Kelly made a bold decision to trade for Sam Bradford. Bradford started off really, really cold, but by season’s end, most fans were in favor of the Eagles re-signing him due to his progression throughout the season. So after two years of having to resort to backup quarterbacks, the year Chip may have found HIS guy, he’s fired.
What now? Well, Jeff Lurie and Howie Roseman, the GM according to Lurie, are in search for a new head coach with a roster full of players brought in by Chip Kelly. Essentially the Eagles’ roster will need to be rebuilt. Who’s the quarterback? Will Sam Bradford want to return and learn a new system here or will he test free agency and take the highest offer? Do the Eagles draft a quarterback and build around him? What exactly is the plan?
The Eagles have a ton of questions to answer. If you thought the 2015 offseason was crazy, brace yourselves for 2016, because this shit could get crazy.