When asked to compare Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and former Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly, cornerback Brandon Boykin said, "Tomlin treats players like professionals and grown men." Boykin added that Kelly didn't respect many of the Eagles, and he wasn't surprised by his former coach's dismissal with one game left in the season Tuesday.
"I think the players realized that a long time ago," he said. "Now the world knows. You can't trick players or pretend to be someone you're not if the results aren't there. The guys who were man enough to make a difference and do something about it were axed or (Kelly) acted like there were sour grapes or whatever.
"We were telling the truth, and people see that now. We are grown men, and he overlooked that aspect of it. He acted like he was better and smarter than people at his level, and that's where the respect was lost."
Boykin's comments hardly come as a surprise. After the team traded him for a conditional draft pick in August, Boykin had the following to say:
The truth is Chip is uncomfortable around grown men of our culture. He can't relate, and that makes him uncomfortable, he likes to be in total control of everything. Players can excel when you naturally let them be who they are and in my experience that hasn't been important to him.
Boykin later clarified his comments by saying Kelly wasn't racist. Instead, Boykin said Kelly didn't relate with his players.
Boykin's comments don't seen to be totally off-base. Following Kelly's dismissal, starting right tackle Lane Johnson said some Eagles players felt like Kelly wasn't approachable at times. Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said the team's next head coach needs to offer "emotional intelligence."