Chip Kelly’s tenure in Philadelphia was, plain and simple, a disappointment.
A big disappointment.
After going 10-6 and making the playoffs in his first season, Kelly missed the playoffs each of the last two years. Even worse? The more control he got over the team, the worse it performed.
That, ultimately, is why the Eagles fired Kelly on Tuesday.
“It’s a hot stove out here,” former Eagle and current WIP host Ike Reese said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “First all, I was shocked like most of us here in this area when the news broke, but I can’t say I’m completely surprised. When you make the drastic changes that Chip Kelly has made during the time that he’s been here and when you ask for complete control of the roster – and the organization, so to speak – you had better produce. And the team this year certainly did not live up to expectations. Far too often, they looked like they were a lifeless team out there. There was a moment during the season for about three or four weeks there where it was a real question and concern as to whether or not Chip Kelly had lost his locker room and (whether) the players believed in him or had quit on him. I’m pretty sure Jeffrey Lurie (sat) back, took count of all this and I think the tip of the iceberg (was) the last week or so.”
The Eagles lost each of their last two games, both at home, falling 40-17 to Arizona and 38-24 to Washington.
“When you have two teams come in here into your stadium,” Reese said, “and it’s on national TV where everyone’s watching, and they’re celebrating divisional crowns in your stadium – and the last one being the Washington Redskins – that’s not going to sit well with the owner when he’s watching that in his press box. I think that was the final straw.”
The Eagles stayed afloat in a watered-down NFC East this season, starting 3-3 and 4-4, but eventually they sprung a leak they couldn’t patch. Philadelphia has lost five of its last seven games, with one of those wins coming in pseudo-fluke fashion in New England.
It got so bad this season that DeMarco Murray met with Lurie and expressed a lack of confidence in Kelly. Lurie may have listened – as he should have.
“When you’re investing as much money as you are into DeMarco Murray – as Jeffrey Lurie is doing with this contract – you certainly had better listen to him,” Reese said. “You certainly had better take some of those words and you do your further investigation. But most importantly, the very fact that they may finish 6-10 and miss the playoffs for the second consecutive year, that played the biggest part in it. Regardless of Chip’s personality and all those other things, if he’s winning football games and the Eagles win last Saturday against the Redskins and they’re playing for the playoffs this week against New York up in New York and they happen to win that game and get in, Chip Kelly is still the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. It always boils down to your production on the field.”