Last week Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie did an interview with The Athletic where he opened up about the Chip Kelly era in Philly. Now Lurie has been the owner of the Eagles for 25 years. He’s seen many ups and downs with his greatest achievement being guiding the Eagles to an elusive Super Bowl victory in Super Bowl 52. Lurie stated that one of his biggest regrets was giving Kelly complete control. However, looking back Lurie shouldn’t regret his decision at all.
Kelly the coach
When Kelly was first hired it was a very exciting moment. The Eagles were coming off a 4-12 season in what would be Andy Reid’s last season coaching the Birds. Kelly had made his mark with the Oregon Ducks leading them to several BCS bowl games including the 2011 National Championship game. In his first season following a 3-5 start Kelly guided the Eagles to a 10-6 record and a division title with Nick Foles leading the way. The Eagles lost 26-24 to the Saints that year in the wildcard round. The following season the Eagles would again go 10-6 but unfortunately missed the playoffs. The following season things took a turn.
Howie Roseman was still the General Manager but there was growing tension between Kelly and Roseman. On January 2nd, 2015, Lurie made his decision and elected to go with Kelly over Roseman. Following this decision Lurie was banished to the land of Narnia it seemed as his role with the team shrunk.
With Kelly now in complete control he began to construct his team. He traded for Sam Bradford, Signed Demarco Murray and Traded away Desean Jackson. When you make these kinds of moves if you don’t win your time is up.
The return of Roseman
In 2016 Kelly’s time was up. With the Eagles 6-9 and missing the playoffs for the second straight year, Kelly was fired. Roseman made his return as General Manager and made it with a vengeance. Hell-bent on cleaning up Kelly’s mess Roseman made incredible moves. He moved the Eagles from 13 to 8 to number 2 in the 2016 NFL Draft where they would select Carson Wentz.
He picked Doug Pederson to be the next Head Coach, signed Alshon Jeffery, Nick Foles and also drafted Derek Barnett who made a few big plays. Roseman now has the Eagles looking to win their second super bowl.
Lurie shouldn’t regret a thing
You live and you learn. Lurie made a decision and while it didn’t turn out how he wanted at the moment, in the long run, it set the Eagles up for success. Losing out to Kelly seemed to only motivate Roseman and this truly was his second chance. Two years after regaining control the Eagles hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. While a lot of Eagles fans would like to forget Kelly’s tenure in Philly it wasn’t all bad.
As a coach, he went 26-21 in three seasons. Furthermore, he drafted Lane Johnson, Signed Malcolm Jenkins and gave the Eagles other key pieces to work with moving forward. Whether you Love him or hate him the Eagles aren’t where they are today without Kelly’s failures and Lurie’s regret. You can read Lurie’s entire interview here.