FIRING Chip Kelly now would be one of the worst moves that Eagles team owner Jeffery Lurie could possibly make. If Kelly decided to quit, that would be awesome. I’d be totally on-board with that, since I felt his hiring was a mistake to begin with. But firing him now could set the Eagles back for years, and maybe even decades, if Lurie (now 64) owns the team into his 80’s or 90’s.
Step back a second and don’t see it like an Eagles fan. Imagine you were a highly sought after head coaching candidate doing interviews with several teams. Not just the Eagles, but several teams. You have your pick of jobs, so why go to the place where the owner will fire you for having a down year after two straight 10 – 6 seasons? Why go to the place that fired it’s All-time best coach for a down season, the year his son dies?
Many of you may not remember this, but when we were looking to replace Andy Reid, most top candidates didn’t even stop here. There were a couple of place holder interviews, but Lurie gave Kelly a contract worth 32 million over 5 years (6.4 py) which was more than the 3 year, 16.5 million dollar (5.5 py) extension Lurie gave Reid in 2011. And this was after Kelly initially turned the Eagles down.
In a nutshell: No one wanted to come here and so Lurie had to beg and overpay to get Kelly. For Lurie to run Kelly out of here AT THIS POINT, would show everyone who avoided coming here that they were right to do so. It would also signal to future candidates that the smart ones among them should do the same. That would only make finding a GOOD replacement even harder this time around.
As a long-time follower of the Oakland Raiders organization I can tell you how hard it is to find a good coach when the owner is perceived to be the organizations biggest problem. Former Raiders owner, the late Al Davis, (always a control freak anyway) realized there weren’t many days ahead of him, and he wanted to see the Raiders on top again before he passed away.
That removed any sense of patience Mr. Davis had, so he’d hire a new coach who wanted to take the team in a new direction, the rebuilding team wouldn’t do well so early, Mr. Davis would get impatient, fire the coach, hire a new one and the cycle would begin again. Serious candidates wouldn’t even interview there after a while. It got to where even though Raider fans love Mr. Davis, they knew the team wouldn’t see greatness again until after he died.
This is what is beginning to happen with Jerry Jones in Dallas; and if we aren’t careful, this could be also be the Eagles.
Don’t look at it like a fan. See it as a business. The handling of Andy Reid is already seen as a black mark on this organization by other NFL coaches. To compound it with firing Chip Kelly AT THIS POINT only makes working for Lurie seem like a pointless endeavor. Better to just go where you’ll be appreciated.
I’m not saying that Kelly won’t be fired, since reports of him losing the locker room, and his apparent inability to make in-game adjustments seem taking on a life of their own. What I’m saying is that firing him before the end of 2016 would be a tactical error for the long term picture. I would much rather see the Eagles suffer for another season than suffer through a decade of Kotite/Rhodes level coaching talent.
If Kelly wants to quit, I say let him. In fact, I’ll take him anywhere he wants to go so long as it’s a minimum of 500 miles away from my football team. But firing Kelly would be stupid. Particularly at this point.