Chip’s in Charge, Are We Sure This is a Good Thing?

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Chip Kelly is formulating the recipe. He’s making the shopping list. He’s going to go to the store, buy the groceries, come home and cook the meal, exactly to his liking, mind you.

And if we don’t like the meal he serves us, then we all get to tell him how badly it sucked.

If that incredibly cliche metaphor for Chip Kelly’s expansion of power within the Eagles organization, doesn’t do it for you, how about this: Chip won the Eagles’ Game of Thrones.

Even though he said as much throughout the year, there’s no longer any doubt that he controls the roster. In fact, he is the absolutely boss when it comes to all football matters and decisions. Howie Roseman, despite the new title and contract extension will have some say, but it will likely mean very little to Chip.

From the December collapse to the rumored strife within the organization, this last month has not bee a fun one in Eagleland. For a short time on Friday, thanks to cryptic tweets like the below, I thought Chip might be out of here.

Thankfully Chip isn’t going anywhere, but I’m not sure I totally trust him to run the football side of the organization yet. Coaching? Absolutely. While he hasn’t beaten the best teams yet, he’s won 20 games in two years with a roster that’s still under construction and does not have true franchise quarterback at the moment.

By all accounts, last year’s decisions to release Desean Jackson and draft Marcus Smith were Kelly’s. Both were misfires. It was brutal to simply release Jackson, because A) you get nothing for him and B) he went to a division rival and burned the Eagles in both games.

In addition to reaching for Smith, a player many thought was a second-rounder at best, he also drafted several Oregon players higher then they probably should’ve went.

Andy Reid had full control and that didn’t really work out. But at least Reid had a pro background. Chip’s still learning the NFL game, and while he may be ahead of the curve when it comes to on-field performance, schemes and player training, controlling the entire roster from top to bottom is a major chore.

As Birds247 points out, remember that time Andy made his offensive line coach the defensive coordinator, but because of the checks and balances system, no one could argue against him?

Regarding the Castillo decision, it’s easy to look back in hindsight and realize the Jeffrey Lurie should’ve stepped in and say no way. But it was fairly obvious at the time too, that the move would end in disaster. 

The only other coaches with this much power in the league are Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll. Both have Super Bowls. Of course, it’s much too early to criticize Chip for not having one, because it takes several years for a plan to come together. But again, that’s kinda the point. It’s a bit early to give him total control.

Yes, he’ll have a GM who works under him and that will likely make things easier, but if so, why did they fire Tom Gamble? The best theory I’ve heard was from Sal Pal on 97.5. He said the power struggle was between Gamble and Roseman, not Chip versus Howie.

I’m also concerned that Chip may have threatened to leave and that we’re even having discussions of front office discord. This is only two years into his tenure! This shouldn’t be happening so soon, especially after they had a marathon interview session that lasted somewhere between 8-10 hours.

I’ve said before, I believe Lurie is a very good owner, who clearly knows how to pick head coaches. The fact that there has been all of this front office shuffling over the last several years, has been odd, however. And I’m not sure what he sees in Howie Roseman. We don’t know what he is, he might be a good talent evaluator, and then again he might not be. His pedigree is not in football, which hurts him in the forum of public opinion.

The bottom line is this: There’s no more confusion about who’s calling the shots. It’s Chip and Chip only. From a continuity standpoint. this should be a good thing.  Perhaps, it’s the residing bitterness of the December collapse, or the weird decisions made last off season and draft.

There have been good moves for sure, drafting Zach Ertz, Bennie Logan, Jordan Matthews and signing free agents Connor Barwin and Malcolm Jenkins. But as always, the negative moves outweigh or outshine the positive ones. And ultimately we won’t get a final answer on this “structural change” until Chip is either holding a Lombardi Trophy or walking the sidelines for another team.

In Chip the coach I certainly trust. Chip the player personnel executive with final say? To be determined.



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