How Chip Kelly’s Eagles stint prepared the Franchise for success
Chip Kelly is probably a name that Eagles fans would like to forget. Kelly’s Eagles tenure was a bit rough on the edges, to say the least. After a successful first season where he led the Eagles to a 10-6 record and an NFC East crown things took a turn for the worst.
In 2014 the Eagles would again finish 10-6 but failed to make the playoffs following a 9-3 start. Kelly was handed complete control of the team in 2015, however, the Eagles missed the playoffs going just 7-9. While many may not have liked his tactics Kelly’s Eagles tenure ultimately prepared this team for the success they have today.
The official Chip of the NFL
Kelly took the NFL by storm in 2013. He brought an up-tempo offense to Philadelphia similar to the Oregon Ducks offense that had produced great success at the college level including a BCS title game appearance. With playmakers like Desean Jackson, LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin, Kelly’s offense was magical in his first season finishing second in the league.
After a 3-5 start Nick Foles stepped in for Michael Vick and the rest is history. Finishing 10-6 the team hosted the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Wild Card round losing 26-24. Yet, things looked to be trending up for the Birds.
— Jeff Skversky 6abc (@JeffSkversky) January 9, 2015
Fan favorites shipped out
When Kelly was given complete control of the roster things got turned upside down. On March 28th, 2014 Kelly released Jackson who was one of the better receivers in the game. This move did not sit well with many people at all. There didn’t seem to be a real reason for the move either.
Jackson would, in turn, take his talents to the NFC East rival Redskins. The following offseason the moves continued. On March 10th, 2015 debatably the best running back in Eagles history McCoy was traded straight up for linebacker Kiko Alonso.
At the time Kiko was one of the better linebackers in the league, but he only started one game in Philly. That same day Foles was traded to St Louis to bring in Sam Bradford. Last but not least, Maclin ventured off in free agency to Kansas City to reunite with Andy Reid.
The end of Chip
The Eagles fired Kelly before their week 17 game against the New York Giants. With expectations high before the season, the team entered week 17 at 6-9. Bradford, Demarco Murray, and Ryan Mathews were all brought in and just did not produce in Kelly’s offense.
Byron Maxwell and Kiko did not pan out on defense. By the third season, a lot of teams had figured out Kelly’s offense. While up-tempo many plays were the same. With Kelly gone Howie Roseman would return as the General Manager and was back with a vengeance.
"There are certainly things I could have done a better job with." — Eagles VP Howie Roseman on Chip Kellyhttps://t.co/0Oh5XE0O1D
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) May 4, 2016
This is Howie do it
Roseman regained power and seemed like a changed man. With Bradford and Foles gone the Eagles were in need of a franchise quarterback to lead them. Roseman would make a series of trades involving sending Alonso and Maxwell to Miami to move from 13th to number eight and then from number eight to number two by trading with the Cleveland Browns.
Philadelphia would go on to select Carson Wentz to be the future franchise quarterback. Roseman was also able to trade Murray to the Titans for a draft pick. Owner Jeff Lurie kept the faith and has reaped the benefits. In addition, the Eagles GM was able to clean up kelly’s mess and set the Eagles up for long-term success in the process.
Nick Foles told me he wouldnt be Super Bowl MVP if he hadn’t gone through the adversity being traded by Chip Kelly and released by Rams
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) June 29, 2018
So what did Chips tenure leave the Eagles
Ultimately, Kelly’s Eagles tenure was successful. Bradford, Murray, Alonso, and Maxwell became trade assets for management. Losing power to Chip seemed to reinvent Roseman as he was more aggressive yet smart with his moves.
One of the biggest additions under Kelly was drafting star left tackle Lane Johnson from Oklahoma. He would also give us Nelson Agholor who finally broke through this year. And finally, maybe his greatest addition was signing Malcolm Jenkins.
Does Chip deserve credit
Do you think Chip deserves any credit for the Eagles run to glory? Let us know below your thoughts on Kelly’s Eagles tenure.
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Featured image via Flickr: Rare Sonance
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