Before we get into thoughts and opinions about the Philadelphia Eagles’ shocking announcement that Chip Kelly is now the head coach, I need to get one very important thing cleared up…
What made him change his mind?
This is important because his mind-changing calls into question whether or not he’s a guy we can count on. My initial reaction to this shocking news was “WTF?!?” And that’s mainly because I was perplexed that the man changed his mind on a big decision like that.
Andy Reid changed his mind quite a bit while he was coach, but one thing we never had to worry about was his commitment to his organization.
In order to get off on the right foot in Philadelphia, Kelly will need to explain this at his introductory press conference so Eagles fans can know exactly why he did an about-face on his decision to come to Philly.
I mean, seriously, it’s a matter of being a man of integrity and a man of your word. He just told Oregon he was returning only to turn around and say “sike!” Word is, there are quite a few shocked and disappointed people associated with the Ducks right now.
All along, as you might know, I’ve wanted either Mike McCoy or Gus Bradley as the next coach. This was before Chip was ever identified as a target and long before it was en vogue to say “Gus Bus” (of which I was on since early December).
For the record, I would have chosen Bradley over Kelly every day of the week, and twice on Sundays.
We were so close to hiring Bradley, I could taste it! I went to bed Tuesday night knowing that he was in town on his second interview. I thought it was just a matter of time before they announced his hiring.
Then, something happened to cause the Gus Bus to blow-out a tire, careen into the guard rail and burst into flames while speeding down the highway to the NovaCare Complex. Apparently, while Howie Roseman was driving the Gus Bus, Kelly called in on his cell and distracted Howie by telling him he’s still interested in the Eagles job.
That’s why you should never answer your cell phone while driving!
I kid here, of course, but that’s basically what happened.
While wining and dining Bradley, the Eagles’ ex-girlfriend called and said he wanted them back. Lurie, Roseman and Smolenski then kicked Gus to the curb and went running back into the arms of their first love…good ole’ Chip.
When the Eagles were courting Kelly the first time, I presented my hesitation with signing him right here: Chip Kelly is a Boom or Bust Prospect.
My opinion has not changed since he’s now officially our coach.
Before we start talking about his scheme and what his plans are for coordinators and roster, hehas a serious question to answer first and foremost:
Again, why did he change his mind?
After meeting with the Eagles for nine hours back in early January, he made the decision to stay at Oregon. Lurie and crew then went about their coaching search that included everyone under the sun, but was about to conclude with Gus Bradley.
There are reports out there that state Roseman had kept in contact with Kelly since their meeting and then things really heated up Tuesday night. However, none of them explain the reason why Kelly flip-flopped.
There are a few semi-explanations we’ve heard so far, they are as follows: Tthe below words spoken by Kelly as seen on NBC10 and quoted by Reuben Frank on Twitter, before boarding his plane to Philly…
“It’s a very difficult decision for me. It took so long to make it just because the people here are special. The challenge obviously is exciting for me, but it’s an exciting time [and] it’s a sad time — saying goodbye to people you love and respect, and I wanted to make sure I talked to my players and did it in the right fashion and talked to our staff. I feel like I did.”
Then, here’s a few more quotes as provided by Tim McManus after his arrival in Philly tonight:
“It was really tough,” Kelly said of his decision to leave Oregon. “I left a special, special place. And that’s probably what took me so long to make a decision. The challenge is what I was excited about, and that’s why I came. It’s a great city, it’s an iconic franchise, they’ve got an unbelievable owner. But I left some great people back at Oregon and that was the tough part
“I was sold on the Eagles the first time I met them. It was just my ties to Oregon. It was a people deal. I have great players there, an unbelievable coaching staff, that’s what made it hard because it’s a human decision. The Eagles are the Eagles. This is the NFL.”
He was leaving a special place with great people and that’s what took him so long to make a decision? Unless I hear something different, there was no standing offer on the table where the Eagles were waiting for Kelly to make his decision. He had already done that when he said be was staying at Oregon.
Therefore, this doesn’t explain why he changed his mind about that decision.
This concerns me because the one thing you never want to question is whether or not the leader of your franchise is a man you can trust and is “all in.”
The man stated before any interviews took place that he wanted things to get resolved quickly…presumably so he could inform the school and any new recruits for Oregon as soon as possible on whether he would be there or not.
First, there were numerous reports that he was close to a deal with Cleveland. Remember that? Then he met with the Eagles for nine hours and speculation began that he was getting close with them.
Therefore, it sounds like he was leading the Browns on at least a little bit, then warmed-up to Philly, only to decide to stay at Oregon. Then, we can’t forget that last year he was reportedly “deep in the process of finishing a deal” with Tampa Bay only to change his mind.
After re-committing to Oregon again this year, he turns around 10 days later and opts to come to Philly and the NFL.
Seems like this guy changes his mind more often than a baby with diarrhea changes his diaper.
We can all speculate that his reasoning may have been money (the Eagles upped their ante), possible sanctions coming down on Oregon, he was given more control, or he simply had more time to think about it and decided he wanted the challenge after all.
Whatever the case may be, he needs to address it and give an honest, believable answer.
Otherwise, how can you trust the man? How can you not think of what Nick Saban did to the Miami Dolphins or what Bobby Petrino did to the Atlanta Falcons?
Those are legitimate concerns because we’re talking about a guy in Chip Kelly who has never played or coached at the NFL level. He has no idea what he’s getting into and can’t know until he’s in it.
And if he suddenly went back on his word to Oregon, why should we believe he won’t do that to Philly if things start getting tough?
We all know how rough things can get in Philly. Will he change his mind again and go running back to college at the first sign of trouble?
He needs to convince me he won’t do that. And in order to convince anyone about that, he needs to explain exactly why he changed his mind.