Chip Kelly’s firing ends a disappointing three year run as Eagles head coach. Back in the winter of 2013, the man who directed one of the greatest college offenses in history at Oregon was the “hot” coach to get for teams with openings.
Kelly was first wined and dined by the Cleveland Browns and nearly landed on the shores of Lake Erie. After meeting with the Eagles and comparing the talent on the Philadelphia roster to other teams seeking his services, Kelly opted for the Eagles.
The initial reaction was beyond positive. The demanding Philadelphia sports talk radio stations were singing Kelly’s praises in parody songs. Kelly did bring some of the Eagles swagger back in his first season. He turned a 4-12 team into a 10-6 NFC East division winner. In 2014, Kelly replicated that 10-6 mark though the signs of bad times to come were evident.
Following a Thanksgiving Day win at Dallas, the Eagles were 9-3 and appeared headed to a great season. That was the highwater mark. Philadelphia lost three of their remaining four games and missed the playoffs.
What played a role in Kelly’s demise was his inability to work with the play makers he inherited and identify others either through the draft or transactions with other teams. During his time he oversaw the departure’s of wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. He traded 2014 leading rusher LeSean McCoy to Buffalo and in attempt to find similar production on the ground, saddled the Eagles with a five year 40 million dollar contract to acquire DeMarco Murray.
The late season firing leaves Kelly out of the mix for some of the high profile college jobs, especially a return to the Pac-12. Kelly was rumored to be a main target during the fall for the USC position, but the Trojans decided to go with Clayton Helton.
Kelly was a success in the college ranks and likely that is where he will land. For the Eagles, the search is on once again to find the coach to deliver that long sought after Super Bowl win.