There has been a war going on in the Eagles organization and it’s been going on for much of the season. I had a source tell me that Eagles head coach Chip Kelly might be leaving in a year or so because of his strained relationship with team General Manager Howie Roseman. I laughed at him. Looking back, he obviously knew what he was talking about.
I was told that Kelly and Roseman were battling over control of player personnel, such as, elements of the draft and free agency.
Kelly’s anger at Roseman must have boiled over earlier in the week when Tom Gamble, the Director of Player Personnel for the Birds organization was abruptly fired. Kelly had to feel disrespected by the organization to have the person he knew best and confided in most, fired.
Think about the fact that Kelly was giving Gamble a glowing endorsement during his Monday news conference. He described him as an outstanding personnel guy. The next evening according to Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Gamble is being ushered out of the Nova Care Complex by security.
I’m sure he let Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and Roseman know it. After the astonishing firing of Gamble, the Kelly and Roseman relationship was in desperate need of repairing and Lurie had to do something about it immediately. The Eagles have come up with what they believe is a solution to the problem.
That’s how I see it, but Lurie says it didn’t happen like that.
“I have a very good relationship with Chip that continues to grow stronger and stronger,” Lurie said. “When we spoke, he was thoughtful, thorough and professional. There were no demands, no threats – quite the contrary – he was passionate, engaged and articulated a dynamic and clear vision on how this fully integrated approach will work. We look forward to seeing it come to life over time.”
Lurie has now given Kelly complete control of the Eagles player personnel department.
“We are a good football team and we believe these steps will help make us a great team,” said Lurie. “That step – from good to great – is the most difficult one for any organization to make. To do that, sometimes you have to step back and really look hard at where you are today and what you want to become.”
Roseman has been with the Eagles for a total of 16 years in a variety of roles. He has been in the role of general manager since 2010.
“Philadelphia is my home and the Eagles are my family. My number one goal is to help bring a championship to this city and that will never change,” said Roseman. “I believe this will solidify the trust we have all placed in Coach Kelly.”
Kelly, who was hired as the Eagles head coach in 2013, has had two ten-win seasons.
“I am very confident about where we are headed as a team and as an organization. I look forward to continue working with Jeffrey and Howie as well as the personnel department,” said Kelly.
“This is not a one-man operation,” added Kelly. “It will truly take a team effort to acquire and develop the best football players and then put the best team on the field each week. It will take all of us working together.”
So, you’ve got the picture. Kelly is running the show from a personnel standpoint with Roseman working the contracts, but not making any personnel decisions. Chip will now hire an experienced personnel guy, whom he believes in and can work with.
Roseman gets the contract extension but he’s demoted to not having any power over the team’s personnel. That makes me wonder why bother firing Gamble because he is really the experienced NFL personnel guy whom Kelly trusts and wanted to work with.
I hope Kelly gets a quality guy to put in that position and surrounds himself with quality people he can lean on because one guy can’t do it all by himself.
One thing is for sure, something needed to be done. I hope it works out for everybody.