Every Monday, Chip Kelly does a 10-minute radio spot with 94 WIP in Philadelphia host Angelo Cataldi. Thus, you would think that Kelly and Cataldi have a close relationship.
You would think wrong.
“My relationship with Chip Kelly is exactly what every other media person in Philadelphia’s relationship is,” Cataldi said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “It is contentious and he really doesn’t like us – and he’s made that clear since the day he got to Philadelphia.”
Kelly and Cataldi had a pseudo-contentious exchange this past Monday, with Kelly getting defensive about Cataldi’s insinuation that he should be tougher on the team following poor performances.
“If people want a screamer and yeller, then let’s hire you ‘cause you’re really good at it,” Kelly said sarcastically.
Well, a chuckling Cataldi responded, “I’m not sure I’d be worse than 4-6.”
Make that 4-7. The Eagles lost to the Lions, 45-14, on Thanksgiving, an embarrassing performance that came on the heels of a 45-17 loss to Tampa Bay. Philly had now lost three straight and four of five.
Cataldi was asked if the media has given Kelly a reason not to like them.
“Look, we’re Philadelphia, so we always give you a good reason not to like us,” Cataldi said. “We’re passionate, we’re obnoxious, we’re loud. I’ve been doing it for almost 26 years in this city, and I think I know the city well. We love you when you win, we hate you when you lose – and more so than probably any other city. So when he came in, we embraced him. Our concept was, ‘Great, he’s not Andy Reid. We can’t stand that drone anymore. We’ve got a new guy.’ And the first year, he took a 4-12 team and went to the playoffs. There was a love affair going on in this town.”
That love affair, however, has ended. The Eagles beat the Cowboys last Thanksgiving to improve to 9-3. Since then, Philly has gone 5-10.
“It’s like the worst crash-and-burn relationship you could ever imagine,” Cataldi said. “He’s refused to acknowledge that his ways are not working and that be needs to do something different. The argument there was, ‘Why don’t you ever get emotional? On the field, off the field, in the locker room’ – he never does. And we think in Philadelphia, when it’s not working, once in awhile you should scream.”
Some coaches, Brandon Tierney observed, are simply not good fits for the cities in which they coach. Philadelphia needs someone with emotion and fire. That’s not Kelly, who might be let go in the offseason.
“He definitely doesn’t like Philadelphia,” Cataldi said. “That we know. He has been grumbling for a year now that we have too many media attending his events. He makes himself accessible almost never in the offseason. He almost is never available unless it’s mandated by the league. so he wants to do as little cooperation as he can. . . . We live this stuff. You have to have this. He has been contentious from Day 1 about the amount of attention that’s given to the team. He would prefer to go in every day and do Xs and Os and coach his football team. You can’t do that in Philadelphia.
“So your read is exactly right,” Cataldi continued. “It’s a terrible fit. It will only continue if the owner, Jeff Lurie, believes that he can change enough things to exploit Chip’s strengths, which are the basic (abilities) to coach a team, and not all of his failures, (such as) being a GM, which he appears to be terrible at, and dealing with people. His dealings with people inside the inner sanctum of the team are no better than they are with the media. Every indication we’ve had is he’s made a ton of enemies in the front office because of his brusk manner and the fact that he really has no people skills.
“Even if he makes it to next year, that’s going to be it for him. It’s just not going to work. The chemistry isn’t here between Kelly and Philadelphia.”