Chip Kelly’s final season with the Philadelphia Eagles was a disaster.
The team went 7-9 and fired Kelly before the final game of the season, ending what had clearly become a tense relationship between the coach, players, and ownership.
Oddly, the miserable season came after Kelly was given personnel control and overhauled the Eagles in dramatic fashion. Many of Kelly’s moves backfired, from his trade for Sam Bradford, the signings of Byron Maxwell and DeMarco Murray, and his lack of investment in an offensive line.
Speaking from the coaches meeting in Florida on Wednesday, Kelly opened up about the Eagles and essentially blamed the front office for their lack of success last season.
“I didn’t like the direction it was heading. I didn’t think we were on the same page,” Kelly said.
According to Elliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com, Kelly never mentioned Eagles GM Howie Roseman by name, but he passed the buck on personnel missteps on Roseman. Shorr-Parks also reported
that Kelly claimed he had little to do with the combined $103 million contracts they gave Murray and Maxwell.
“I’ve never negotiated a contract in my life. I have nothing to do with any contracts. … We evaluated the players, said we wanted them, and then when the contracts came out, the contracts came out. … We never told him to get (them) at any cost. We told them who we liked, and who the good players are.”
Kelly also said he hardly communicated with Roseman. When asked if there should be communication between the person in charge of personnel and the person in charge of the cap, Kelly replied, “You, you would think. But it wasn’t set up that way.”
But then Kelly seemed to act as if he wasn’t in charge of personnel:
Would you want another shot at being a GM? “I never was GM.” Running Personell? “I didn’t run Personell.” Final say? “Depends on situation.”
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) March 23, 2016
It’s hard to take Kelly at his word because all indications were that last offseason, the Eagles gave Kelly complete personnel control, relegating Roseman to handle the cap implications of the team. Perhaps Kelly wasn’t involved in coming to contract numbers with free agents, but by the same token, since Kelly’s departure, the Eagles have been applauded for shedding contracts and getting back assets this offseason. Many of the moves have been seen as acts to tear down the Kelly era.
It’s a damning picture for both sides. Kelly clearly won’t own up to his failures, and it’s a bad look to say he evaluated players and said who was good, then say he had no control over personnel. On the other end, the Eagles clearly didn’t work out a chain of communication between the front office, and seemingly handing the keys to one individual (Kelly, in this case) is never a successful formula.
Kelly, hired by the 49ers this offseason, praised the 49ers front office, seemingly taking a final, departing shot at the Eagles.
“Whenever you are working with anybody, (trust) is a huge component in terms of how things work on a daily basis. [49ers GM Trent Baalke] has a proven track record. It isn’t trust without evidence. There is a ton of evidence of him being able to put together a really good football team.”
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