Davis’ Opinion Means Little
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — Embattled Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis seems convinced that Chip Kelly will remain the team's head coach no matter the eventual outcome of the season.
"Chip isn't going anywhere," Davis told NJ.com after the ugly 45-14 Thanksgiving Day loss in Detroit, the team's second consecutive embarrassing performance. "Nope. I promise you that."
Davis means well and he's obviously sticking up for a boss that has had his back despite the defensive implosion over the bast few weeks. That said, the promise is hollow because Davis' role in this soap opera is a supporting one.
Only Jeffrey Lurie or Kelly himself have the power to admit this isn't working and pull the plug, a scenario that remains far more likely from Kelly's end than Lurie's, who would be admitting a colossal miscalculation less than 12 months after making it so ego is involved.
Kelly, on the other hand, may decide that the Southern California job or perhaps the LSU gig are positions too rare to pass on, especially since the ability to acquire a franchise quarterback at this level who could actually run Kelly's preferred scheme is not panning out.
Despite that Davis believes Kelly remains loyal to the Eagles.
"Absolutely" Davis said when asked if Kelly is committed to the Birds. "Not kind of committed. All-in committed. I know it. He is a fighter. He don't run. You see the way he acts day-by-day. No change in Chip."
No one is claiming Chip has changed.
In fact the opposite has been the problem. Despite adjustments being made to defend his up-tempo philosophy, Kelly continues to march ahead, pounding the square peg into the round hole despite a sharp reduction in skill-position talent over the past two years.
The scheme -- Chip's scheme -- is supposed to be the star in Philadelphia and it's been anything but as the proclaimed offensive innovator has turned into the guy with the embarrassingly-small, play-call sheet and all the accompanying S8 jokes.
As for the commitment, Kelly is stubborn to a fault but the pledge is dedicated toward his way of doing things not the Eagles, and that can always be uprooted easily and recreated in Los Angeles or Baton Rouge.
Washington's win over the Giants on Sunday means the Eagles remain just one game out of first place in the NFC East with five to play so there is plenty of time to salvage the season with a division crown and a playoff appearance.
Even in that best-case outlook, though, the underlying issues will remain.
Lurie is certainly suffering from buyer's remorse right now but he's not the impulsive type to act on it, meaning the ball remains in Chip's court, an unsettling reality for most Eagles fans.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen