A common sentiment that's emerged from the aftermath of Chip Kelly's firing is how his lack of interpersonal skills led to his downfall with the Eagles. Lane Johnson said some Eagles players felt like Kelly wasn't approachable. Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie stressed that the team's next head coach needs to offer "emotional intelligence." Now NFL insider Jason La Canfora is weighing in on Kelly's people skills problem. According to this report, part of the reason why Kelly got fired is because of the team's holiday party. Yeah. Check it out:
For instance, Lurie has always taken considerable pride in the team's holiday party, going to great expense to throw the large gathering, with it becoming something of a prized tradition with him. According to numerous sources with knowledge of the situation, Kelly basically refused to attend it this year on its normal Monday night, and ultimately Lurie had to move it to a Friday afternoon onsite to facilitate Kelly's schedule. Kelly argued Monday night would disrupt the coach's planning for the week -- a fair enough claim -- but Lurie apologized to the organization for the haphazard way the party was conducted this year and told others it would not happen in that fashion ever again.
In and of itself, it's not a big deal, but given the timing, with the team falling out of the playoffs around Christmas and with the atmosphere in the organization growing more toxic, it exemplified the growing divide between the way Kelly operated and what Lurie wanted his organization to be. "That's just part of a long list of reasons why Jeffrey made this move," said one source close to the situation, "but the whole thing with the Christmas party just epitomizes the split from what Jeffrey wants the Eagles to be, and what he felt like they were becoming."
The report also notes that some Eagles employees were planning to leave the organization if Kelly was going to stick around. In short, everyone was growing tired of Kelly.
Stories like the ones in this CBS report match up with the report that Lurie felt he needed to "take back the team" from Kelly. They also indicate it would have been hard to justify keeping Kelly around. Kelly didn't get fired just because he made some bad personnel moves and the team had a down year. He seemingly got fired because of those downfalls AND because everyone was sick of him.