Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie did what many hoped for but few expected and pulled the plug on head coach Chip Kelly, firing Kelly before the season ended on Sunday.
First, I really have to applaud Jeffrey Lurie for being proactive, understanding that this was a failed experiment, and making the right move. The 2015 season was a full display of everything wrong with Kelly, his scheme, and the way he conducted business in the NFL.
It was truly painful to watch as Kelly ran the team into the ground, letting go of the team’s top talent and doing an even worse job coaching the talent that he did acquire. There were too many problems on both sides of the ball, and the most damning indictment might have been the fact that Kelly couldn’t lead this team to a division title in what was a pitifully weak NFC East.
But now Kelly’s reign is over. There will be no more smoothies. No more gimmicky philosophies. No more tempo. No more sports science. No more taking proven NFL talent for granted. The search for a new head coach begins.
Kelly Reportedly Did Not Want To Give Up His Power
Per Sal Paolantonio Lurie wanted to strip Chip Kelly of personnel control. Chip balked. Lurie fired him.
— Kevin Winter (@KevinPWinter) December 30, 2015
While I certainly applaud Lurie for pulling the trigger, its clear his first choice was to at least keep Kelly as head coach, but remove his say on personnel.
Naturally, Kelly kicked, screamed, and threw a fit at the idea of losing his power, so Lurie had no choice but to can him.
Howie Roseman Returns
An interesting, though by no means unsurprising, wrinkle to this story is that Howie Roseman will reemerge from the team’s broom closet in the basement to return to the personnel department.
Lurie announced in his statement that Roseman would be a part of the team’s new search for a head coach.
I have mixed feelings about Roseman’s return. I’m not necessarily anti-Howie. I think he’s come a long way from the guy who played a role in drafting Brandon Graham and Danny Watkins. Before being stripped of his power, he ran the 2012 draft that brought the team Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks, Vinny Curry, Nick Foles, and Brandon Boykin, and also played a role in bringing Connor Barwin, Malcolm Jenkins, and Darren Sproles to town.
However, I think the Eagles would be much better served with a completely fresh front office.
Early Thoughts On Possible Candidates
Now its time to speculate on who Kelly’s replacement might be!
I don’t think the Eagles are going to go back to the college ranks for some time.
The new head coach is going to come from the professional ranks.
I could see the Eagles seeking out a coach with a very established resume; a coach who has not only won, but won a Super Bowl in the past. Merrill Reese suggested that Tom Donahue could help the team attempt to lure Bill Cowher out of retirement. Sean Payton may be a more realistic possibility, as there are numerous reports that he could be on the outs in New Orleans.
Former Eagles’ defensive coordinator Sean McDermott could also be a possibility. McDermott has learned much since his time in Philadelphia, and has been able to build the Carolina Panthers’ defense into one of the most dominant units in the league.
Follow Denny Basens on Twitter @DennyBasens