Lurie Reboots the Eagles
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - When describing why Bill Davis would likely be Chip Kelly's scapegoat on "Black Monday," Josh Paunil made an interesting observation on The Sports Bash Tuesday.
"You don't really see any of the players sticking up for him," The Birds 24-7 writer told 973espn.com.
Right sentiment, wrong guy.
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly was dumped Tuesday and the spin circling the NovaCare Complex was that owner Jeffrey Lurie took the temperature of the locker room and didn't like the results.
So, less than 365 days after he handed Kelly the keys to his entire football operation by forsaking his trusted right-hand man in Howie Roseman, Lurie rebooted his franchise.
"We appreciate all the contributions that Chip Kelly made and wish him every success going forward," Lurie said in a statement released by the team.
Billed as a revolutionary force who would take offensive football to the next level when he arrived out Oregon, Kelly leaves the NovaCare Complex as a one-trick pony, who failed to adapt his offense, which boiled down to tempo and little else.
That said, the crux of his downfall was almost certainly the personnel end of his job.
Things like the signing of downhill runner DeMarco Murray and expecting the 2014 rushing king to consistently run out of an offset, shotgun look, or the trade of LeSean McCoy for injury-ravaged linebacker Kiko Alonso, or how about the signing of an above average zone corner like Byron Maxwell to a $63 million deal.
They all made Lurie look bad for giving a coach who had just 20 career NFL wins under his belt Bill Belichick-like power
Ironically, though, it was Kelly's much-vaunted culture of players who did him dirty by failing to defend the coach to his boss.
And instead of waiting for "Black Monday," Lurie pulled the plug early, ate $13 million to do so, and will let Pat Shurmur finish up things in Week 17 against the New York Giants.
According to Glazer, Kelly also said he wants to remain in the NFL, which will immediately put Tennessee and Marcus Mariota on everyone's radar.
In addition to Kelly, Ed Marynowitz, Kelly's hand-picked VP of player personnel, was also fired by Lurie.
Tom Donahoe, the well-respected former Bills and Steelers general manager, will take over as the Eagles' senior director of player personnel.
"I spent the last three seasons evaluating the many factors involved in our performance as a team," Lurie said in a letter to fans. "As I watched this season unfold, I determined that it was time to make a change."
Lurie, team president Don Smolenski, and Roseman, now the team's executive vice president of football operations, will chose the next head coach.
"I am determined and excited to select a new coach to help us obtain our ultimate goal," Lurie said.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen