PHILADELPHIA – Chip Kelly’s relationships with NFL players has been in question during his three-year tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Owner Jeffrey Lurie said he is looking for a head coach who can “interact well and communicate clearly” with players and the front office.
After hearing this, it makes it easy to believe that perhaps Kelly was not the best at interaction and communication.
Regardless, Eagles players kept their remarks classy after Kelly’s outing.
Linebacker Najee Goode was shocked that the firing happened only days away from the last regular season game.
“It was a quick decision and a quick move,” Goode said. “It was something that a guy like Mr. Lurie had been thinking about and he released to us. He had a meeting with us letting us know where he wants to go moving forward.”
Goode wasn’t the only one surprised.
“I didn’t expect it to happen right when it did,” Linebacker Marcus Smith II said. “I didn’t think it was going to happen.”
While some were taken off-guard, others could sense something was coming.
“I knew something was going to happen but I didn’t think it would be this dramatic, especially at this time during the season” Linebacker Brandon Graham said. “But I understand why.”
Players like Linebacker Mychal Kendricks have been through this in college and in the pros.
“It’s sad. You don’t want to see anyone get fired,” Kendricks said. “We are all renting space and it’s a business.”
Players like Graham and Kendricks are talking to the younger players like rookie Wide Receiver Nelson Agholor who never experienced a coaching change in the pros.
One thing that Agholor wants to maintain that Kelly taught him is tempo.
“That’s what we do here,” Agholor said. “It’s something that we’ve conditioned ourselves to do no matter who is at the head. I think as players you have accountability to be in condition. You have accountability to line up, get set and go quickly.”
The players are trying to avoid all distractions and finish their season with a victory over the New York Giants in Week 17.
“Our guys will be ready to go out and win this game,” Linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. “We’re all focused on playing this game and playing for each other. It’s the last time this group will be together so we plan on going out with a win.”
They know that soon, it’ll be time to compete and impress a new coach in 2016.