Former Eagles and current San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly spoke with reporters during the NFC coaches breakfast on Wednesday morning. As you might have expected, a lot of Eagles reporters were there to ask him about his demise in Philadelphia. Kelly touched on a number of topics, but one theme was present throughout: the Eagles' front office was a mess last season.
Chip Kelly said that Howie Roseman negotiated the Byron Maxwell and DeMarco Murray contracts last offseason.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) March 23, 2016
Chip Kelly said that he didn't have any contact with Howie Roseman last year even though Roseman was in charge of the cap.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) March 23, 2016
Kelly would identify players he wanted, relayed it to Roseman (through Marynowitz) without command of financial implications.— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) March 23, 2016
Given the chance to clear things up at this year's NFL Combine, Roseman declined to address whether or not he had a role in the Maxwell and Murray contracts. Kelly, on the other hand, wasn't shy to put the "blame" on Roseman. While it may be true Roseman put those bad contracts together, it's clear Kelly was running the show and picked the players. This front office disconnect clearly didn't lead to success as the team struggled in 2015 and finished with a 6-9 record before Kelly was fired.
Kelly's gone now and the Eagles have gone back to a more "traditional" front office structure with a front office guy (Roseman) in charge of personnel, and not a head coach. The Eagles have preached a more "collaborative" approach this offseason, which is clearly a stark contrast from how things were run last year.
Philadelphia's new front office model doesn't necessarily guarantee success. There are still questions about Roseman's evaluations skills, especially when it comes to the most important hires (head coach and quarterback). The collaborative model won't be successful if the team doesn't pick the right players. But at the very least the Eagles seem to have a much more functional decision-making process with Kelly gone.
Some more highlights from Kelly's presser:
Chip denies the report that he made a huge offer for Marcus Mariota. #Eagles #49ers— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) March 23, 2016
A recent report indicated Kelly was willing to trade a lot to get Mariota. He's still denying it.
Chip when asked if he would cut Kaepernick: "Not even being discussed. You don't cut talent." #eagles #49ers— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) March 23, 2016
Oh, the irony of this quote.
Eagles among healthiest teams for third year in a row: https://t.co/hUHktMCY0D https://t.co/JtwGIkBjIa— Jerome's O'Friend (@JeromesFriend) March 23, 2016
As James Keane points out, Chip trying to blame the Eagles' lack of offensive production in 2014 and 2015 on injuries seems disingenuous. Metrics indicate the Eagles have been one of the healthiest teams in the NFL over the past three seasons.
Chip Kelly said he doesn’t feel he needs to attend more to locker room relationships in SF. Cites Eagles who reached out to him after firing— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) March 23, 2016
Good luck, San Francisco.