"In Chip We Trust."
It is a saying that many of us have used since his arrival in Philly last January. No NFL experience at all? In Chip We Trust. Run a 3-4 defense with 4-3 personnel? In Chip We Trust. Draft a tight end in the 2nd round when you already had Brent Celek and James Casey was your very first free agent signing? In Chip We Trust. Blast music while special teamers take snaps with the 1s and Pro Bowlers take snaps with the 3s? In Chip We Trust. Nick Foles is going to run your zone read offense? In Chip We Trust.
This isn't to say Kelly's track record is infallible. I can't ask you to blindly trust him in this DeSean scenario. Mistakes are always possible. What I will ask, based on his history in Philadelphia, is that you consider Kelly just might know what he's doing. And that he also just might know better than any of us think we do. At the very least, try to keep an open mind.
Now that Jackson's departure is a reality, we are confronted with it.
Faith has been described as the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen. From the start, Chip repaid that faith. His offense, derided by skeptics, was an immediate success and finished the season as one of the best in the league. His dedication to sports science, which had some players wondering why they were being poked and prodded so much and fed strange milkshakes, led to an extremely healthy team. The quarterback that was deemed by outsiders as a terrible fit for his offense already has his jersey in Canton. Chip was not perfect, no one is, but on the whole he didn't just deliver, he overdelivered. Hopes were exceeded and things were seen and believed, faith became confidence. "In Chip We Trust" evolved from a mantra of patience to a tenet of being an Eagles fan.
So when the team made Malcolm Jenkins their #1 priority in free agency instead of Jairus Byrd and when they gave up a draft pick for a 31 year old situational player, we had confidence these were good moves, because In Chip We Trust. When on the second day of free agency they signed special teamers while the rest of the league was signing starters, we did not think twice, because In Chip We Trust. When they signed Mark Sanchez to compete for a backup spot, In Chip We Trust. When they didn't make whatever moves we wanted them to make... In Chip We Trust.
But none of those really compare to parting ways with DeSean Jackson. Unquestionably, the team took a step back on the field on by cutting Jackson, and at the end of the day winning is what matters and not having Jackson decreases the chances of the Eagles winning. And while the full reasons for why Jackson was cut are not yet publicly known, we know that Chip Kelly felt that what Jackson brought to the field wasn't worth the baggage off it. Is that enough to rely on? With so little to go on it is fair to ask: In Chip We Trust?
In a word, yes. Chip Kelly and DeSean Jackson did not arrive at crossroads by accident or on impulse. The man who worries about what the sodium content in relish is doesn't do things on a whim, he is as meticulous as they come. He's also very demanding that his players completely buy in to his program, and if they don't, they're gone. Chip is firm but fair with his discipline, if Kelly was being irrational with Jackson, the front office would have vetoed him. After all, he's earned their trust too.
Chip Kelly hasn't steered you wrong before. Chances are, he isn't about to start now.