Former Eagles guard, current Broncos guard, internet funny guy, and Super Bowl 50 champion Evan Mathis recently exchanged emails with Denver reporter Mike Klis for an interview. The conversation touched on a lot of Broncos topics, as one would expect, but Mathis also wrote about Chip Kelly and how his time in Philadelphia came to an end. I encourage you to read the whole piece, but here's a look at some of the highlights.
First, here's a brutally honest assessment of Kelly from Mathis:
"There were many things that Chip had done that showed me he wasn’t building a championship team," Mathis wrote in his e-mail to 9NEWS. "Two of the main issues that concerned me were: 1. A never-evolving, vanilla offense that forced our own defense to play higher than normal play counts. 2. His impatience with certain personality types even when they were blue-chip talents. The Broncos team I was on would have eaten Chip alive. I don’t think he could have handled the plethora of large personalities."
These two factors were a big part of Kelly's downfall in Philadelphia. After taking the league by storm in 2013, Kelly's offense declined the past two seasons. Part of the reason why the offense declined is because Kelly didn't retain some of its best players (Mathis, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, etc.).
Mathis doesn't seem to completely harbor ill-will towards Kelly, however. He said he hopes his former coach learns from his mistakes.
"Since I wasn’t going to be paid what I was offered and I wouldn’t simply be given better incentives to play for a coach who wasn’t building a winning team, I decided I wanted out of Philadelphia," Mathis wrote. "I hope Chip learns from his experiences in Philadelphia and grows as a coach. Maybe he’ll find some constructive criticism from this.’’
The most Evan Mathis part of the article is when he reveals how he asked Kelly for his release. After a report came out in late March that the Eagles would cut Mathis if they couldn't trade him, Mathis said he sent a text directly to Chip Kelly with a link to the following YouTube video:
It's hard to say the Eagles were better off with Mathis in 2015. Their guards struggled and they arguably need two new starters moving forward.
Mathis, meanwhile, made out pretty well. He ended up taking less money in Denver than he would have made in Philadelphia if he stayed with the Eagles but he won a Super Bowl ring with the Broncos. Not bad.
Here's Evan Mathis touching the Lombardi. https://t.co/aWFJqOoh6v— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) February 8, 2016