CHIP KELLY FIRED AS COACH OF THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
WELL DAMN! PHILADELPHIA -- The Chip Kelly revolution ended before it ever really began.
The Philadelphia Eagles abruptly fired Kelly on Tuesday night, five days before the final game of the 2015 regular season. Kelly's Eagles were eliminated from playoff contention when they lost to the Washington Redskins on Saturday night. That loss dropped the Eagles to 6-9. They were 2-5 over their past seven games, including losses in which they surrendered 45 points twice and 40 points once. Overall, Kelly's record in nearly three seasons as Eagles head coach was 26-21.
Kelly told Fox Sports on Tuesday night that he didn't fight owner Jeffrey Lurie's decision to fire him. He also told Fox Sports that he wants to stay in the NFL, as opposed to returning to college coaching. "We appreciate all the contributions that Chip Kelly made and wish him every success going forward," Lurie said in a statement released by the team. Sources told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio that Lurie had been thinking for weeks about making changes in the team's structure, including stripping Kelly of personnel control.
A news conference is scheduled for noon ET Wednesday. Pat Shurmur, the Eagles' offensive coordinator and the former head coach of the Cleveland Browns, will serve as interim head coach for Sunday's game against the New York Giants. Last season, the Eagles again went 10-6. But they lost three of their last four games and missed the playoffs. Immediately after the season, Lurie decided to move Roseman, then the general manager, aside and give Kelly full control over personnel decisions.
Kelly wielded that new power, trading away quarterback Nick Foles and running back LeSean McCoy. He acquired Sam Bradford in the Foles deal, and running back DeMarco Murray and cornerback Byron Maxwell in free agency. He also released veteran guards Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans, and didn't re-sign wideout Jeremy Maclin. Lurie described the roster makeover as an attempt to "go from good to great." He also pointed out the inherent risk of going from good to mediocre, or worse.
That's what happened this season. The Eagles got off to a 1-3 start. Bradford, who looked stellar in the preseason, was uneven behind a patchwork offensive line. Murray never seemed comfortable in Kelly's offense. There was little sign of the team that had debuted so memorably in Washington two years earlier. After getting to 4-4 at the midway point, the Eagles took a severe downturn in recent weeks. They upset the New England Patriots on the road and defeated the Buffalo Bills to get to 6-7 but lost 40-17 to Arizona and then 38-24 to Washington to fall out of playoff contention.
"It's 100 percent on my shoulders. It's unacceptable," Kelly said after Saturday's loss. He also addressed whether he was on the hot seat, saying, "Anybody in my situation, if they're worried about getting fired, they probably already should have been fired. It's not good enough,
but I'm going to continue to work."
Kelly became the first Eagles head coach since Buddy Ryan in the 1980s to go through three seasons without a single playoff victory.