Less than a full year after giving him complete control over the team's player personnel department, Jeffrey Lurie released Chip Kelly on Tuesday evening. Based on his decision to dismiss Kelly, it's clear Lurie regrets entrusting his former head coach with extra power. According to reports, Lurie felt he needed to "take back the team."
A source close to the situation said Lurie told confidantes, even before the Eagles were eliminated from playoff contention last weekend, that he wanted to "take back the team." That would indicate pretty severe disillusionment on the part of Lurie, who hasn't talked to reporters since Sept. 11, when he said of Kelly: "He's an excellent coach in this league. There's no question about it. He doesn't need to prove anything. He's a builder of a roster, culture builder, he's everything that I think we all thought when we interviewed him, and more."
It doesn't stop there. It sounds like Lurie was glad to have Kelly gone.
Jeffrey Lurie said he was "relieved" when he fired Chip Kelly as head coach, according to people close to Lurie. @FOX29philly— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) December 30, 2015
Kelly became the face of the franchise during his tenure with the Eagles. He built the roster the way he wanted it to be built. He hired his own coaching staff and personnel department executives. He installed his sports science program. He instilled his "culture."
But it's clear Lurie no longer believed in Kelly or his methods. By firing Kelly, Lurie is doing more than just firing a head coach. He's changing the face of his franchise. Now it's up to him to make sure his next hire is better.