With one game left on their schedule, the Philadelphia Eagles fired Chip Kelly on Tuesday, this after Kelly failed to make the playoffs for a second straight season.
Kelly went 26-21 during his Philadelphia tenure, going 10-6 and making the playoffs in his first season, going 10-6 and missing the playoffs in his second season and stumbling to a 6-9 mark in 2015.
“A lot more is going to have to come out on this. This story is still very raw,” Philadelphia Inquirer Eagles writer Zach Berman said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “But clearly Chip Kelly was handed full personnel control at the end of last season, made a lot of major decisions, he rebuilt much of the team, and frankly, they only regressed. They regressed on offense, they regressed on defense and it’s just been a bad year all around. To add to that, Chip did not create many allies inside the building. So when you start losing, that patience starts to wear thin.”
Despite reports that Kelly may have lost the locker room or that there was rampant dissension among the ranks, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Former Eagles, such as Emmanuel Acho, have come out and said that players got along fine and that there were no major issues behind the scenes.
Berman did not see anything to indicate otherwise.
“No, I did not,” he said. “And Chip’s not the warm and fuzzy type, but he brought in a lot of guys in that locker room. There were a lot of guys loyal to him. There were some guys who were not and you saw some of the moves that have been made and comments that have been made after players left. But the reality is, a lot of these guys were brought in by Chip, were very loyal to Chip and benefited from the fact that Chip was coaching. So no, I’d be lying if I said there was something that jumped out in the locker room over the last few weeks.”
Still, Berman was surprised that the Eagles let Kelly go.
“Personally, I (thought he would be back),” Berman said. “But I thought they were going have to take a hard look at the personnel side and whether Chip should have personnel control and whether they needed to adjust the front office. So that’s kind of the sticking point and that’s the thing I’m really curious to find out: How much of this was about the personnel decisions that he made and the front office culture that he had? But I’d be lying if I told you I expected Chip Kelly to be fired on the Tuesday before the Week 17 game.”
Pat Shurmur has been named the Eagles’ interim head coach, but Berman does not know who the long-term replacement will be. He threw out Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, who was in the Eagles organization from 1999 to 2010, but added that owner Jeffrey Lurie tends to prefer offensive-minded coaches.
“Really, it’s just speculation at this point,” Berman said. “This is very raw. A lot more is going to develop as time goes on.”