Earlier Sunday we learned that part of the reason Chip Kelly was fired had to do with him insisting the team's holiday party be moved to accommodate the coach's practice schedule. Now, according to former Eagle and ESPN analyst Cris Carter, we have more.
Per Carter, Kelly threatened to bench wide receiver Jordan Matthews if he celebrated a touchdown too much:
It's impossible to know how often these kinds of things happen (in Philadelphia or elsewhere), but it's yet another instance of Kelly's iron grip, as well as his apparent inability to relate with or properly motivate his players. The fact that it's Matthews is even more surprising - Kelly moved up in the 2014 NFL Draft to acquire the former Vanderbilt star, and has consistently shown confidence in Matthews since drafting him. Heck, Kelly named Matthews the "starter" in the slot before Matthews had even played a preseason game.
There are also a couple other noteworthy things here. The biggest is that Kelly clearly took a "my way or the highway" approach with everyone. Ownership, players he drafted, it hasn't mattered. Chip's program took precedence over everything, and those who didn't abide would hear about it.
I's also interesting that Carter didn't seem to think Kelly was long for Philadelphia. That could be idle player chatter and an easy chance to say "I told you so," but it's worth at least mentioning that a former player and analyst was thinking along the same lines as Eagles Chairman/CEO Jeffery Lurie.
It's also really cool that Matthews is being mentored by Carter, who is uniquely qualified to help the young receiver. Carter knows what it means to play in Philly, and can undoubtedly provide a ton of valuable wisdom to a receiver who no doubt wants to hear it.
As for Kelly, it'll be interesting to see if these stories end up hurting his job prospects. This being the NFL, though, it's unlikely. After all, players get away with much worse and still find employment.