Mere minutes after the Eagles fired Chip Kelly on Tuesday night, former Philadelphia linebacker Emmanuel Acho tweeted, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
That was not a coincidence.
“Funny enough, I remember hearing the quote in eighth grade at my private school in St. Marks and it stuck with me ever since then,” Acho said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “Obviously when you look at a situation like this, you can’t help but wonder what went wrong. I’m not taking nay shots at anybody and obviously that quote has stood for 150+ years now, so it clearly isn’t anything derogatory. But you just kind of can see some of the truth behind that.”
Acho, who was released by the Eagles two days before Thanksgiving, enjoyed his time in Philadelphia. Despite reports that Kelly didn’t get along with players, Acho said that “there was no big tension” and that “some issues were often blown out of proportion,” such as LeSean McCoy calling Kelly a racist. Acho reminded listeners that McCoy and some of the others who made accusations are “emotional players” and that “things often got misconstrued.”
“Honestly, like any locker room, there are pros and cons,” Acho said. “I think we had one of the best locker rooms, especially in my three years there. I was traded from the Cleveland Browns to the Philadelphia Eagles right after Chip got there. I’ve been there ever since. I think we had one of the best locker rooms. At the end of the day, everybody knows it all comes down to what you do on the field. Nobody cares how good of guys you are in the community. Nobody cares how much y’all get along, but how well can y’all perform when you get on the field. So I don’t think it had anything to do with locker room chemistry as far as what went wrong this year.”
Indeed, Kelly’s firing likely had less to do with reports and accusations and more to do with his 26-21 record, including his 6-9 record this season.
“At the end of the day, for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction,” Acho said. “If you’re not producing, there’ll be change, especially when you make such bold moves that fans and others don’t even agree with. So if you’re not making the playoffs – that’s twice in a row now – then obviously there will be change. Do I think he’s a heck of an offensive coach? Of course. Do I think that there were some vital decisions that backfired? Obviously, like anybody else, you can be the judge of that.
“Not everything works for every one,” Acho continued. “And after year three, if the record’s declining, then it’s now or never. If you don’t make a change now, when will you make change? The NFL is a very cutthroat business.”
Ultimately, though, Acho believes Kelly will get another chance – and if Acho were a GM, he’d hire him.
“One hundred percent,” Acho said. “At the end of the day, if you look at his last seven years: Rose Bowl, Rose Bowl, national championship (game), Rose Bowl, NFC East champion, 10-6 (and) missed the playoffs, and now 6-9. So you know he’s going to turn it around wherever he goes and he’s going to be successful. It’s a matter of sustained success. In the NFL, you have to win the big one. That’s what it comes down to. But would I bring in Chip Kelly? One hundred percent.”