Giving Chip Kelly More Power is Bad Move for Eagles


Dec 28, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly before the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles CEO Jeffrey Lurie announced earlier today that Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has now been given complete power over the player personnel on the team.  This move, which involves a “promotion” for former general manager Howie Roseman, is a bad move for this team and its future.

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Former Eagles head coach Andy Reid had power over player personnel during his time in Philadelphia.  For most of that time, the team was very successful, reaching four NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl.  Reid, who like Kelly is an offensive-minded coach, was very good at finding talent that fit his offense.

Roseman, however, came under a lot of heat after two consecutive horrible drafts in 2010 and 2011.  2011 might have been the worst draft any team has had in recent years.  Only one good prospect came out of the eleven picks the Eagles had that year: Eagles center Jason Kelce.  Sure Kelce is one of the best, most athletic centers in the game, but a sixth round center should never ever be the best player in your draft.

The 2012 draft class, however, did make up for that a bit.  But one good draft in five years does not warrant Roseman keeping those responsibilities.  Kelly should have the ultimate say in players who he thinks will fit his offensive scheme well.

However, Kelly in charge worries me for two reasons: he may not focus on defense in the draft and he has shown an affinity to drafting Oregon players.  Kelly may be more focused on trying to build his offense the way he wants it than trying to improve a wretched secondary.  The only part of the defense that has both talent and depth is the defensive line.  Our linebacking corps has talent but no depth and our secondary lacks talent altogether, with the exception of Eagles slot corner Brandon Boykin and Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins.

Kelly’s affinity for Oregon players is also a cause for concern.  Last year, Kelly drafted former Oregon wide receiver Josh Huff in the third round, well before the “experts” expected him to go off the board.  He also drafted former Oregon defensive end Taylor Hart in the fifth round.  Obviously neither of those picks went toward fixing our wretched secondary and there were better options on the board for both positions.

Even looking at the same positions, there were better options on the board.  For instance, 32 picks after Huff was taken, Pittsburgh took Clemson wide receiver Martavis Bryant, who is bigger than Huff and has been more productive in less games than Huff has.  Nine picks after the Eagles took Hart off the boards, the 49ers drafted defensive end Aaron Lynch, who has been a very good pass-rusher this year.  Hart hasn’t played much, if at all.

Kelly needs to stop favoring his former players if he actually wants to make this team good.  Hart hasn’t contributed. Huff has impacted more games negatively than positively.  All of the defensive players drafted  in the Kelly era, with the exception of 2013 3rd round pick Bennie Logan and 2014 7th round pick Beau Allen, have been nonfactors so far.

If Kelly is going to make this team better, he’s going to have to stop favoring his former Oregon players and get better defensive scouts.  As of right now, I think he should focus more on coaching and less on personnel, but that’s Lurie’s call and not mine.

Fly Eagles Fly.