After two straight losses where the Philadelphia Eagles have been thoroughly dominated by teams without winning records, it's fair to wonder if players have given up on Chip Kelly. So, have they? Take a look at what some players had to say immediately after Philadelphia's 45-14 loss to the Detroit Lions.
Does Jason Peters still believe in Chip Kelly?"I believe in him. He's our head coach and we're going to fight for him as long as he's here."— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) November 26, 2015
DeMarco Murray, if guys are giving up: "No. Never. It'll never happen while I'm here." #Eagles— Martin Frank (@Mfranknfl) November 26, 2015
Lane Johnson: "we're gonna see who the quitters on the team are now and who will quit when times are tough?" Added hasn't seen it yet.— Martin Frank (@Mfranknfl) November 26, 2015
"I will never doubt Chip Kelly and I will never doubt these coaches," he said. "That's the only way you can go about this business in my opinion. Doubters and people that don't trust their teammates and don't trust their coaches, those are losers in my opinion. That's the way you lose games. And obviously we're losing a lot of games right now, we're not doing very well. But that's not ever going to change my approach or my trust in the players in this locker room or the coaches that are telling me what to do." --- [via Birds 24/7]
Based on these quotes, it would seem like Kelly hasn't lost the locker room. But talk is cheap, and on-field performance suggests otherwise. It's unlikely most players are going to tell the media that they stopped believing in Kelly. I don't doubt there may be some who still do truly believe in Kelly. The problem is the team doesn't seem to be playing with the kind of urgency that's going to save Kelly's job.
There were rumblings earlier this season that Kelly was starting to lose the locker room. Those rumblings intensified recently with a report that an NFL agent of an Eagles starter thinks Kelly has lost the support of his players. Some of the players have even turned on themselves. One anonymous player called out one of their teammates for their lack of effort.
The truth is a lack of effort isn't the only problem with Philadelphia's roster right now. Even if all the players were giving it all they had, this still wouldn't be a good football team. The Eagles also lack talent and Kelly is to blame for that since he's essentially the general manager.
But the fact that the effort doesn't fully appear to be there is a condemnation of Kelly as a head coach. It suggests taking away his general manager powers isn't the only fix to the mess in Philadelphia right now. If the Eagles continued to play uninspired football down the stretch with five games remaining, it's hard to see how the team will justify bringing Kelly back in 2016.