Philadelphia Eagles: Doing What The Seattle Seahawks Did, But In The Wrong Way


The Philadelphia Eagles gave Chip Kelly total control over personnel issues, much like the Seattle Seahawks did with Pete Carroll in 2010. But for the Eagles, this might be the wrong move.

Right after the 2009 NFL season, which ended in four straight losses and a 5-11 record, the Seattle Seahawks cleaned the house by firing both Jim Mora and Tim Ruskell – the team’s head coach and general manager, respectively. On January 11, 2010 the Seahawks announced that Pete Carroll signed with them as the new head coach.

This was Carroll’s return to the NFL after 10 years. He left the football program of the University of South California (USC), which he led as a head coach for nine years.

Carroll had great success at USC and according to Art Thiel, he didn’t leave the Trojans because of the sanctions that NCAA was about to hand out to them. Carroll felt he had “unfinished business” in the NFL and took the Seahawks job because it was the one offering him what he wanted – “which was control over decision-making on personnel”. (for Art Thiel’s article, click here.)

After signing with the Seahawks, Carroll went on and hired John Schneider as the team’s new general manager. I can’t tell if this has happened before in the NFL or not, but the GM being hired by the head coach is not a common phenomenon.

Three years and a couple of weeks later, the Seahawks lifted the Lombardi trophy up in the air of New York, minutes after demolishing the league’s most feared offense: the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos. It was the best moment in the careers of Carroll and Schneider.

The Philadelphia Eagles saw the blueprint for success in this story. Maybe that was not the case when they hired Chip Kelly from University of Oregon in January 2013, but it certainly is now.

The reported power struggle between general manager Howie Roseman and coach Kelly resulted in the firing of Tom Gamble, the Eagles’ vice president of player personnel, then the “promotion” of Roseman to executive vice president of football operations. In fact, Roseman was taken out of the personnel decision-making process in exchange for a higher salary.

The franchise’s owner, Jeff Lurie also announced that Kelly will now oversee the player personnel department and he will be the one to hire the next general manager (or personnel executive).

In Seattle, Carroll was given control over personnel decision-making and was allowed to bring Schneider in. This brought success to the Seahawks, but will it pay out for the Eagles?

It might pay out, it might not. But if one thing is certain, that is it creates more “bad blood”.

The Seahawks gave Carroll a lot of power, but they didn’t take it away from someone else. They fired the previous regime because it failed. Roseman was not a failure as a GM, but Lurie “promoted” him by stripping off of him some of his power.

The newly-created scheme helps Kelly do the things he wants to do as a coach. The number of areas which require cooperation between Roseman and Kelly have been decreased. This looks good for the head coach, but now the ball is in his court.

Kelly now has more responsibilities and if the team fails to become a consistent contender in the NFL, the failure will be on him.

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