Ruffled Feathers Part Of The Process For Chip Kelly


Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has been in the NFL for a total of two years. In that time, he’s led the Eagles to back-to-back ten win seasons, a division championship, and two consecutive seasons with a top-five offense. And while his limited accomplishments in the NFL have been nice, Chip Kelly cannot escape the growing criticism about his coaching style and personnel decisions. Among those criticizing Kelly, former players DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy have appeared to be the loudest.

The lost statistics are written everywhere. A total of 5,576 combined yards and 33 touchdowns from Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy, and DeSean Jackson were amassed during Chip Kelly’s two seasons. The Eagles traded away Nick Foles for an oft-injured Sam Bradford. Evan Mathis, who was given his outright release last month, has still not signed with a team. Despite immense criticism towards Chip Kelly for releasing the “best guard in the NFL”, not everyone outside of Pro Football Focus believes Mathis is that good.

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Then there’s the racist angle perpetuated by talking heads such as Stephen A. Smith. Regardless of what Smith says afterwards, the motive was clearly established in his diatribe with fellow talking head Skip Bayless.

Unlike holes in the offensive line, LeSean McCoy decisively attacked the race angle. And similarly to Stephen A. Smith, McCoy neglected to include all the facts surrounding Chip Kelly’s personnel decisions.

Most recently, NFL Network’s Jamie Dukes compared Chip Kelly to both Greg Schiano and Nick Saban, former college coaches turned pro. What Dukes fails to mention however is that Chip Kelly is just six NFL wins shy of the combined win total from those two coaches. Rather than focusing on the Eagles success on the field, the common rhetoric is to focus on DeSean Jackson’s statistics on another team. All the while failing to mention that Jackson’s statistics dropped while in Washington or Jeremy Maclin’s success in Philadelphia last season.

In a time where racial tension is nearing a zenith, perpetuating false myths from a media pedestal is as dangerous as it is ignorant. LeSean McCoy is understandably upset for being traded outside the state of Pennsylvania. However, McCoy’s trade inevitably came down to dollars and cents. McCoy joins Michael Turner and Marshawn Lynch as the only running backs in the NFL to amass back-to-back seasons with more than 300 carries in the past five seasons. Unlike the two aforementioned running backs, LeSean McCoy doesn’t carry the same amount of meat on his bones to take such a punishment.

At a time where players such as Maurkice and Mike Pouncy, Greg Hardy, and Aaron Hernandez all were in the news for their associations with criminal activity, DeSean Jackson blew himself up, not the other way around. Despite admitting his affiliation with known gang members, Jackson would rather insist that it was the Eagles that smeared his great name.

But imagine if Jackson found himself in trouble with law enforcement after the article was released. The criticism directed at the Philadelphia Eagles, Chip Kelly, and Jeffrey Lurie would likely mirror the criticism directed at the San Francisco 49ers following Ray McDonald‘s run-ins with the law.

Chip Kelly is building his team and he’s doing it his way. While the rest of the NFL might or might not agree with the procedure, it’s really not their choice. If Kelly builds a winner on the football field, that should be the focal point. The Philadelphia Eagles are not trying to blow anyone up, including DeSean Jackson. What would be nice however is if the media and both DeSean and LeSean would be frozen, and just let it go.

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