The sudden fall of Chip Kelly

If you cut off the head, the body will soon follow. When Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles decided to get rid of a still very effective, playmaking Michael Vick, they didn’t just cast aside an aging scrambler with a rocket arm, they gave away the franchise’s soul.

From all the accounts that I have read and heard about Vick, he was the clear leader of that Eagles’ locker room-on and off the field. In other words, Vick was the Alpha Dog.

So what does Kelly do? He emasculated Vick by putting him on the bench in favor of Nick Foles, and then kicks him to the curb. Funny, LeSean McCoy wasn’t calling Kelly racist once the coach got rid of Vick and then DeSean Jackson, in that order.

The steps of destroying a franchise all laid in the hands of Kelly, all the while the national media celebrated his misguided and ill-fated greatness. Kelly then took the remarkable steps of wrecking the Eagles entirely by trading Jackson, then taking down McCoy and Jeremy Macklin. It’s no coincidence that all these players were holders from the Andy Reid era.

And all these players had Alpha Dog qualities. So what does Kelly do, he remove those players so he can be the Alpha Dog. It was going to be his team. He wanted his players. That’s fine. You can win with your system in place. But you had better have some talent in that system in order to win.

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly could be in the hot seat if he doesn't turn his team around from a 0-2 start. Photo Credit: Mac Alexander
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly could be in the hot seat if he doesn’t turn his team around from a 0-2 start. Photo Credit: Mac Alexander

Vick was the perfect quarterback for Kelly’s system, the ultimate playmaker who could still move the chains with his legs and strong right arm. Kelly then  went dumb-dumb and believed in the less than average ability of Foles, then Mark Sanchez and now Sam Bradford to run the show for him.

Mediocrity cannot replace greatness. In their NFL lifetimes, Foles, Sanchez and Bradford will never amount to the equal of Vick.

So for the last two seasons, Philadelphia fans has been treated to garbage from the quarterback position as the decline of the Eagles as an elite franchise turned full circle. All one has to do is look at the number of explosive plays when Vick, Jackson, McCoy and Macklin were together compared to now.

McCoy and Jackson were and are still among the NFL’s top 100 players. Macklin is a very capable athlete. On top of that, Kelly rewarded a less than average wide receiver-Riley Cooper-a 5-year, $25 million contract.

Yeah, this is the same Riley Cooper that uttered his disdain and the N-word publicly about African Americans. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, Kelly and the Eagles gave Cooper a pass with a couple of days off and rewarded him for his derogatory outburst with his multi-million dollar contract. They all deserve the mess the Eagles are in today.

If there’s a blueprint on how to tear down the structure of a team, Kelly provided it. Lurie allowed Kelly to do it. The fans and the media enabled Kelly to go through with his talent-flushing. And just as unceremoniously Kelly dumped Vick, Jackson, McCoy and Macklin, the favor was returned to the ” mad scientist” with one game left in the 2015 NFL season.

The genius just received his dunce cap on his way out the door. And good riddance. Kelly was given the label genius when he took over the Eagles by the national media without proving one thing. With the media falling head over heels in love with Kelly for no good reason, the former Oregon coach held the keys to the franchise. Kelly then proceeded to drive the vehicle right into a freight train.

Kelly’s ego kicked logic out of the place. Reasonable thinking had no place where daring and chance was operating. Now Kelly is out of a job as coach of the Eagles after a failed three-year experiment. The fact about Kelly that rings loudly is that the production didn’t matched the hype.

Kelly is seen as a innovator.  Today, he’s seen more as a man who is reviled by players in his own locker room. And the bottom line is that he couldn’t even win like he was expected to. In three years, Kelly’s Eagles made the postseason only in his first year. The last two seasons has been a bust as far as the postseason goes.

Lurie can only thank himself for allowing Kelly to blow up the ship with all the talent the team had. Kelly can thank his arrogance and ego for getting in the way of his better judgement. One thing about arrogance is that it can bring anyone down. Add Kelly’s name to that list. Kelly received the same treatment as he handed down to Vick, Jackson, McCoy and Macklin.

He at least got three years out of his ride with the Eagles. That’s more time than what Kelly gave Vick.

Dennis J. Freeman
About Dennis J. Freeman 1064 Articles
Dennis covers the NFL (San Diego Chargers), NBA (Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers), Major League Baseball (Los Angeles Dodgers) and NCAA sports (USC, UCLA, Long Beach State). As a professional journalist, Dennis has also covered and written on topics such as civil rights, politics and social justice. Dennis is a graduate of Howard University.