Eagles Release Chip Kelly

The only surprise about Joe Philbin being fired earlier this season was that it did not happen sooner in Miami. Ken Whisenhunt also did not come as a surprise in Tennessee, but the biggest move yet just went down with the Eagles announcing the release of Chip Kelly with one game remaining in his third season.

"We appreciate all the contributions that Chip Kelly made and wish him every success going forward," owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement released by the team on Tuesday. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur will be interim head coach for the Week 17 game against the Giants. Ed Marynowitz, Kelly's hand-picked vice president of player personnel, was also released.

Kelly was 26-21 (.553) with one playoff loss. He went 10-6 in each of his first two seasons, but a headline-grabbing offseason in which he targeted several big-name players with durability concerns led to high expectations in 2015. Those expectations were not met with the Eagles going 6-9 and losing the NFC East to Washington on Saturday night.

Having written about Kelly's rookie year for Football Outsiders Almanac 2014, there was a lot to like about his start. While he was never as aggressive as his reputation had us believe he would be, Kelly definitely implemented his style of fast-paced offense with several of the fastest-paced offenses we have ever tracked. He helped Nick Foles have an incredible season in 2013, and LeSean McCoy was very effective with the read-option. However, defenses adjusted for Kelly's second year and after jettisoning away most of the team's star skill players, this year's offense fell flat -- currently ranked 27th in DVOA -- with Sam Bradford and DeMarco Murray not living up to the hype.

Kelly has had his share of media wars with past players, including DeSean Jackson, Jason Avant and McCoy. Some feel he was a tyrant with the way he wanted to control how his players slept and ate, the "smoothies" and sports science aspect of his run. However, the Eagles have had some of the least-injured teams in the last three years, so that may have been working. Kelly also had some detractors from how he handled Riley Cooper's racial slur situation. Cooper remains one of the very few Eagles from the pre-Kelly era as he has helped turn over the roster with many questionable additions from the draft and free agency, including first-round pick Marcus Smith (zero career starts and 0.5 sacks) and high-priced cornerback Byron Maxwell.

When he joined the Eagles in 2013, Kelly was the only active head coach with no prior experience on an NFL coaching staff. We will see if he takes another job, like Tennessee with Marcus Mariota at quarterback, or if he returns to the college game. Clearly, Kelly did not live up to his potential in Philadelphia, but it is hard to consider his three seasons a failure when you look around the rest of the league. Think Cleveland would like 26 wins in three years?

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186 comments, Last at 12 Jan 2016, 6:40am

3 Re: Eagles Fire Chip Kelly

26 wins with Foles, Barkley, and other backups like Sanchez and Barkley.

If I'm Irsay I'm backing the truck up tonight to get him to coach Luck and keep him from Mariota.

I don't even fault his personnel ideas; just his overpayment for them (Murray's contract and the 2 with Bradford)... Get him to work well with others - which might be more likely after this dose of humility - and suddenly you have a brilliant mind and solid support staff (the mysterious sports science army) at the helm of a team with a good QB. I'll take it.

And I'm probably the most pro-Pagano person you'll meet too.

6 Re: Eagles Fire Chip Kelly

If he were to get lucky again with a GM hire, like he did with Polian, then he could spend the next decade as a hands off goofball. I don't see any obvious hires like Polian, however.

15 Re: Eagles Fire Chip Kelly

I don't see Luck and Kelly as a good fit system-wise. I think Luck is at his best when he has the freedom to run the show. Chip's system is much more restrictive and would favor a certain kind of accurate QB without great football IQ.

Who, me?

45 Re: Eagles Fire Chip Kelly

Only ever run his one offense? He had two at Stanford and then a Coryell bombs away year under Arians. Not to mention whatever Pep/Chud hybrid he's been studying (from the sidelines) these past two months...

I think people like to spout buzz words and media nonsense without actually understanding offense.

[On another note, I think Will gives Irsay too little credit for the Polian hire and his own personal acumen. Drugs and hippie-ness aside, the guy is far more involved and successful as a business owner than most silver spoon inheritance cases. I'm not going to give him a medal or anything, but let's not pretend he's just a buffoon running a business close to into the ground. You won't find a single person inside that building with any complaints about him as a boss/owner.]

As for Grigson, well... I've said that I am not as convinced as some as to his relative inabilities. But I'm likewise not convinced he'd be the guy to pump the brakes on a Murray contract especially or to put a solid line out front either.

Hard to say. If there's a line of three to five teams already formed on hold with Kelly's agent, there's a halfway decent chance he doesn't learn a damn thing or swallow any of his pride. In which case, stop 2 could be just as contentious as stop 1. Even Belichick had to step back for a while and take a coordinator position again after he wore out his first welcome...

52 Re: Eagles Fire Chip Kelly

Look, Irsay inherited a fail-safe (money-wise) business from his dad, who stole enough money from innocent victims to buy an NFL team, back when a small fortune would suffice. He then had the opportunity to hire a guy who had, the previous 15 years, transformed a crappy roster into one that took 4 straight trips to the Super Bowl, and then take an expansion team to a conference championship. To his credit, Irsay, took that opportuity. That's pretty much the extent of Irsay's accomplishments. On his next GM hire, he appears to have completely whiffed. Combine that with the behavior of driving around intoxicated with a briefcase full of cash, and illegally obtained prescription narcotics, and there is very large reason to think that he is a goof.

60 Re: Eagles Fire Chip Kelly

Irsay's father may have been a better businessman, but Irsay has been a much better owner, possibly because he paid attention to his father's mistakes while growing up. His father never hired a competent GM, and only had two playoff years in the seventies. Yes, he whiffed on Grigson, but he's only hired two GMs at Indy, and putting up with Polian can drive anyone to drink. Just ask Ralph Wilson and Jerry Richardson.

83 Re: Eagles Fire Chip Kelly

One man's better businessman is another's unindicted criminal?

More seriously, for all Irsay's (Jr) obvious problems he is still actually not a bad owner. He is not tight with money, he doesn't meddle overmuch with the people he has hired, and perhaps his antics even reduce the media pressure on his players (on the assumption there are only so many articles people will read on the Colts and he doubtless takes up more than his share). I hope he gets the help he needs before he ruins someone else's life, but separating the lifestyle from the ownership actions show how much worse off the Colts could be.

Whether this is an example of how low the bar can be set for ownership is an exercise I leave to someone supporting a team with a bad ownership situation.

85 Re: Eagles Fire Chip Kelly

I can't link to the Sports Illustrated article from the mid 80s, but Robert Irsay made his fortune in the sheet metal business, where he was full, enthusiastic, participant in a price fixing/bid rigging scheme, along with other sheet metal firms, which defrauded the public for decades. Irsay's co-conspirators went to prison, and Irsay skated when the Federal Prosecutors rightly estimated that he was the criminal most likely to flip on his partners in a criminal enterprise. If I remember right, he didn't even have to take the stand, because the geniuses had written eveything down, and Irsay just supplied the documents, in return for his freedom. This is how Irsay the Elder obtained the money he used to buy the Colts, althought the prosecution did not occur until well after he bought the team. The NFL, of course, was not anxious to have it well known that one of their owners was a flat-out criminal.

No, Jim shouldn't be held responsible for his dad's criminality, and like I said, if he can get lucky with a GM hire again, there's a decent chance the Indy coaching job woud be a good one again. If there ever was an undeserving billionaire, who himself didn't steal the money, however, Jim Irsay is the guy.

87 Re: Eagles Fire Chip Kelly

Thanks for the info Will. Did not realize Irsay the elder was that crooked. However, there are plenty of undeserving billionaires on Wall Street. Just read the Big Short or Flash Boys if you don't believe me.

90 Re: Eagles Fire Chip Kelly

The SI article can be found here (or here for the graphic version. From the article:

Eventually, Irsay got a little too creative in his maneuverings, though he saved himself from prosecution by turning state's evidence in a 1978 bid-rigging case, United States v. Climatemp, Inc. Irsay, who was represented by former U.S. Attorney Samuel K. Skinner, was granted immunity from prosecution four days before the indictments were handed out in exchange for testimony that consisted of "mostly a bunch of 'I don't remembers,' " according to defense attorney Robert Bailey. Irsay at first denied to SI that he had been granted immunity and then changed his story. "I was probably granted immunity," he said.

92 Re: Eagles Fire Chip Kelly

Thanks for the link, Travis. Somehow I find Irsay's mother's comments perhaps the most revealing : "He's a devil on earth,that one."

That and the amount of alcohol Irsay Sr was consuming might explain some of Irsay Jr's issues, there is a lot of evidence linking substance/addiction problems to childhood exposure and Irsay Sr certainly doesn't sound like someone who would hide his vices from his son, or compensate well in other ways.

It is scary to think that the infamous moonlight flit from Baltimore to Indianapolis might be one of the lesser betrayals/shady-deals of someone's career.

96 Re: Eagles Fire Chip Kelly

One of the really weird things (a long list, to be sure) in Irsay the Elder's biography is how he enlisted in the Marines in the fall of 1942, with WWII raging, and received an honorable discharge as a sergeant 6 months later, never having left the United States, without any suggestion of illness, injury, or a indispensible skill for the defense industry or government. How does THAT happen? It leads one to suspect blackmail or bribery.

8 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

I think kelly deserves another shot. Kelly the gm has been beyond horrid, but thecoach has done well given the talent(which he played a huge part in)

20 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

I don't agree with the notion that he was a horrid GM. He was correct that Bradford > Foles. He may have paid too much, but the evaluation was correct. The guys he cut did nothing. Maclin left for more money that the Eagles would have been criticized for matching. Hicks looked like a steal before the injury, Rowe has looked pretty good too. No one knows who picked Marcus Smith. The WR's have Mathews, Huff and Agolohr have certainly been a disappointment, and the OL was a debacle no doubt about it. But, if you hire a guy as GM shouldn't he get more than one season ? I really want to know what happened in that meeting because if Lurie just fired Kelly that worries me as an Eagles fan because that just isn't how Lurie operates.

27 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

The evaluation was correct - but the trade was still idiotic and he might not even be the qb of the future, so its a more expensive player and a 2nd round pick to boot. Demarco Murray was a good signing? Letting Desean Jackson go but paying Riley cooper was a good idea? THe maxwell signing was a good idea?

Again, I applaud Chip the coach for managing to eek out wins with the roster he was given, but since he himself put that roster together, its hard to absolve him.

30 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Bradford > Foles, but Bradford is still not worth a) the pick sent for him, b) the salary he was paid, c) considering the above and his health, the starter roster spot. If you bring him in to compete or as a backup at a reasonable price, that's awesome. But if you place all your chips on his number, you blew it big. Foles, on the other hand, did not hamper the team from bringing in another QB to compete for the starting gig because of his salary.

Bradford is just one piece of the puzzle. I'll let others chip in. I am honestly surprised Kelly the GM still has supporters.

Who, me?

37 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

My suspicion is that this was a lot like Carroll's 3rd season in Seattle. Kelly was okay but knew that if he didn't get a qb of the future he was sunk. Foles wasn't the answer. Carroll lucked out with wilson, but remember that they almost had Matt Flynn after two consecutive 7-9 seasons.

Basically if you don't have a qb you're probably doomed.

Losing wds really isn't that big a deal. Losing Mccoy was probably fine - Mccoy wasn't that special. Murray was bad. Alonso was unfortunate. Bradford not performing was what sunk him. Well, that and the defensive collapse.

44 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

I was far more disturbed this year by Chip Kelly the coach than the GM. The team seemed terribly prepared for most games, lots of fundamental errors, lots of penalties, tons of miscommunication. It wasn't just guys getting beat physically, it was lots of stupid mistakes that went uncorrected. I do not understand Kelly's allegiance to Billy Davis who was a train wreck as a DC. That would have been the offense worth firing Kelly for, if he refused to can Davis.

47 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Look over the roster and tell me how much of it you actually like. The receivers? The qb? Their corners/linebackers? Their d line has one star and good depth. On paper, that leaves a good offensive line, a deep but not overwhelming d line, and some safeties. That's it.

69 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

I think the talent on the defense is actually pretty good. The D line has a star in Cox and some solid guys and depth. I like Hicks and Barwin at LB a lot, I don't think we've seen a healthy Alonso, don't know if he will ever be healthy again but if he were I think he would be good. Not sure what happened to Kendricks, but I wouldn't be surprised if he bounced back. The DB's are better than previous years if overpaid(in Maxwell's case). Mostly, I think the DC is crap, an abject moron, who crippled the team. They sign and draft big, physical corners to play press and then line them up 10 yards off constantly. The one constant of the Billy Davis era is that the D got worse and worse as the year went on, oh and all of the 3rd and longs that were converted. Seriously, teams should have just taken a knee on 1st and 2nd down, and then watch Billy D line the CB's up 15 yards deep on 3rd and 12. I think the D would be above average with a decent DC.

As for the offense, I am worried about the WR drops, but really the problem was the line all year. It sucks in a historically bad way. Either Kelce was hurt this whole year, or he really does suck and Mathis just made him look good. But Mathis didn't exactly earn high marks in Denver at least in the early going. But I think given even an average OL, the offense would have been fine.

74 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

However, next year the defense will likely be very different: Thornton, Curry, Thurmond, Carroll and Biggers are no longer under contract. That's a significant portion of their d-line and secondary. All five of those players are either starters or have seen significant playing time in 2015.

The Eagles have $133 million of the $154 million in 2016 cap space already accounted for, so some of those players will likely not be back. (QB cost is their major wildcard - for example, franchising Bradford would cost them around $20 million alone.) They have significant, young contracts for Maxwell, Kendricks and Graham, all of whom who are generally seen as having underperformed those contracts this year.

For the defense, a coach will have to decide how he feels about about seeing Rowe, Reynolds and Beau Allen (or rookie or inexpensive FA's) see significant playing time. Reynolds and Allen do not seem like viable starters on a good team, but might be ok for a rebuilding year. Rowe has shown potential.

121 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

The biggest problem with the defense is depth, without a doubt, and signing Maxwell at that outrageous price is what kills you. I don't know what he was thinking on that. DBs are like RBs, you pick them up in the draft as much as you can, and you *definitely* don't sign them to length contracts. Secondary depth is just godawful.

"As for the offense, I am worried about the WR drops, but really the problem was the line all year. It sucks in a historically bad way."

Kelly: 0.33 OL drafted/year.
Reid: 1.8 OL drafted/year.

This last year was just immensely stupid, which I've been saying all year. The line as a whole had to be worse than last year. Had to. All they did was get rid of 2 starters and replace them with exactly no one. I don't care what you think of the starters, if you move 2 backups to starters and don't replace them, you just murdered your depth.

The WRs are just as big a concern, though. Why? Because of the draft capital spent on them. Kelly drafted 3 WRs in the first 3 rounds in the past 2 years. The OL had nothing spent on them in the past 2 years, and they got worse. No surprise. The WRs had lots spent on them in the past 2 years, and they also got worse.

132 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

I think now is a good time to look back at your prediction about the Eagles' 2015 season, made after the Bradford trade was announced:

I can summarize the 2015 Eagles in 2 bullet points.

1) Offense struggles due to a lack of a passing threat
2) Defensive secondary continues to struggle, and the pass rush deteriorates

Check and check.

143 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

They were 28th in Pass Offense DVOA, so it's not like they were any good at passing, either. I would argue that they struggled because of a lack of a passing threat and because they couldn't run the ball worth a damn.

158 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

A lot of that is having to use Sanchez though. And a lot of that is Bradford not throwing downfield for half the season. Given that the loss was what, Maclin, it's hard to say that the reason the passing attack dropped so low by comparison to last year was largely because of losing their receiver.

As usual, it's more likely the problem being the QB, though their line was pretty horrible too.

166 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

So what is Maclin, chopped liver? The guy had over 1300 receiving yards last year. You know how many other Eagles receivers have done that in the last 20 years? DeSean Jackson and Irving Fryar. So, yeah, I think it's pretty reasonable to say that trying to replace one of the most prolific receivers the franchise has had in recent memory might have something to do with the passing attack faltering.

Also, lack of a passing threat doesn't just mean lack of good receivers. A problem with the QB can also cause a lack of a passing threat. After all, even the best receivers can't catch the ball if nobody throws it to them. So, saying that the problem is the QB doesn't really contradict anything I said. It's a key factor in why they lacked a passing threat.

183 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Plus I said "I don't see how they get to 8-8 this year." I swear I should've put money on that, although damn I was feeling pretty uncomfortable about that prediction after the New England game. Still have no idea how they won that game.

76 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

He was correct that Bradford > Foles. He may have paid too much, but the evaluation was correct.

No, the evaluation was not correct because the valuation was not "who is better, Bradford or Foles?" The valuation was "which is a more valuable asset, Sam Bradford at $12.985 million or Nick Foles and a second round pick at $1.52 million?".

Bradford may have outplayed Foles, but not by nearly enough to make up the difference in salary plus however you want to value the draft pick.

79 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

This is true.

Also, overlooked: Bradford's 2015 in worse in terms of DVOA/DYAR than Foles' 2014. The question is not "will Bradford be better for the Eagles or Foles for the Rams?" but "will Foles or Bradford be better for the Eagles?" That is much more of an open question - by DYAR/DVOA Bradford was worse for the Eagles.

The offense overall performed worse under Bradford's stewardship, although the turnover on the roster makes direct comparisons difficult. Sanchez, one of the few constants, put up much worse DYAR/DVOA in his limited starts in 2015 than he did in 2014 (-1.4% vs. -46.9%), suggesting an overall offensive collapse that Bradford can not be solely held accountable for.

169 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Don't forget wildly overpaying for Byron Maxwell and cutting Evan Mathis.

Everybody liked the Agholor pick at the time so I really don't fault him for that one; a lot of WRs struggle as rookies anyway.

The Bradford trade was a real head scratcher because a contract extension wasn't part of the deal. Now he's about to become a UFA and they're stuck trying to compete/match any crazy offer that may come in.

9 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

I'm far from certain that Kelly the coach brings anything to the table in the NFL. I have no doubt that Andy Reid would have gone 10-6 or better in each of the last two seasons. None.

Kelly probably deserves another shot with a GM riding him hard on personnel decisions. He could be successful in a place like San Francisco, with a GM who doesn't respect coaches. His schemes aren't bad or wrong, they're just not meaningfully better than what other NFL coaches do. And with limited talent and depth running more plays in a season is not necessarily very bright.

At Oregon, where you had 100 players all of whom were more talented than the best player on most of the teams you played, losing lots of players to injury was okay. Doing that in the NFL...


35 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

The notion that Oregon was loaded with talent while Kelly was there is flat out wrong. Their recruiting rankings while Kelly was there were never better than 9th, and they had 1 five star recruit.

He was playing against a Pete Carroll coached usc team with top 3 recruits and Andrew luck. And beat both.

He also made nick Foles a star.

41 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Andy Reid was 22-26 in his last 3 years as the Eagles coach. I don't see any reason to believe that they'd be better then they've been under Kelly.

He's been roughly 10-6/year as the Chiefs coach, but hes got a lot more talent there than the eagles have.

61 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

I must say, and this is not personal but, "I have no doubt that Andy Reid would have gone 10-6 or better in each of the last two seasons. None." is not even an argument. It's something like bullying, like the bullying a parent does to a child when the parent says "because I say so."

You should have doubt. Since you have no rational basis for your opinion, doubt would indicate rationality on your part.

66 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

There's no reason to believe that any of those years are more relevant to the previous 3, where he went:


If you were doing typical 3-2-1 forecasting, you'd get 6-10 as a projection for the next year, where Kelly went 10-6

Since 2005, he was 66-62 with the Eagles. Maybe it had become a bad fit, maybe he was complacent, who knows - but it's pretty damn clear that Andy Reid was not a good coach in Philly anymore.

I think anything over .500 is wishcasting.

Chip Kelly went 26-21.

68 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

After 2005, Reid's team ranked the following in DVOA:

2006: 4th
2007: 10th
2008: 1st
2009: 3rd
2010: 3rd
2011: 9th
2012: 28th

Under-performing for these ranking definitely seems to have been a problem but their overall strength would suggest that he continued to be an excellent coach.

Kelly has ranked:
2013: 8th
2014: 7th
2015: 22nd

By no means dishonorable, but clearly a cut below Reid's later work. Like Reid, once he failed to make the playoffs in consecutive years (and fielded a notably bad team in that second "failure" year), he was fired. In their first three seasons in the league, Reid won 3 playoff games and Kelly zero, which was likely a factor in their differing career paths.

72 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Clearly a cut below? Reid's "later work" averaged 13th, Kelly averaged... 13th. Kelly had a significantly better record though.

Reid's teams consistently underperformed DVOA too - so using it to argue that he has been excellent is a bit sideways.

82 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

I disagree that average DVOA ranking is the best way to compare their accomplishments. Reid has higher highs over a longer span in terms of (post-2005) DVOA. His teams ranked in Top 4 in DVOA four times in that span. Kelly's best team was 7th in DVOA (which is good but a notch below.) Reid's 2012 team was notably worse than Kelly's 2015 team. A single lower low does not (to me) count for as much, but it is of course an open question in your opinion.

I agree that the question is whether underperforming his DVOA suggests he is not good at his job or whether consistently fielding teams with excellent DVOA suggests the opposite.

104 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Andy Reid's DVOA/Pythag Estimated Wins vs Actual wins:

2005: 7.8 - 6
2006: 12.5 - 10
2007: 9.8 - 8
2008: 11.6 - 9
2009: 11.2 - 11
2010: 11.9 - 10
2011: 9 - 8
2012: 4.5 - 4

His teams over that time have underperformed their expected wins by just over 1.5 wins/season (or underperform by roughly 15% of expected). This can mean a couple of things:

1. Andy Reid's teams regularly outplay teams and still lose to them.
2. Andy Reid is consistently building teams with a flaw that is being exploited in high leverage situations that DVOA doesn't measure well.
3. DVOA consistently overrates the quality of Andy Reid's teams.

The true answer is probably a bit of all, but it makes DVOA particularly poorly suited to deal with him over this time period, and it makes any argument about Andy Reid backed up by DVOA a bit hollow.

Since moving to KC, Reid's Estimated wins vs Actual has gone +1, -.5, -.5 - so overall he's running about average.

111 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

You're cherrypicking. Using 2005 as a starting point makes no sense, except it's the year that maximizes that difference. Use his full career, and it's half of that. 2006 and 2008 contribute hugely to that, adding 5.1 estimated over actual wins. Except those 2 years, the Eagles ended up performing very strongly in the playoffs.

The other problem is that estimated wins doesn't mean what you think it means. It's the number of games this team would be expected to win, if they faced an average schedule. It's not "how many games DVOA expected you to win."

Unfortunately there's no schedule statistic on FO that makes sense to use as a schedule correction (facing 3 0% teams is not the same as facing a 30% team and 2 -15% teams, but even worse, a 0% team facing 3 0% teams is not the same as a 30% team facing 3 0% teams).

119 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

I should also point out there are a bunch of "bad luck" statistics you can look at to see why a team underperformed relative to estimated wins, even excluding schedule.

1) HIDDEN special teams, where 2006 and 2008 were a special kind of bad, with Philly losing 14.4 points and 11.8 points (31st and 32nd respectively). Hidden special teams are "opponents were way above average on kickoff distance, punt distance, and field goal accuracy." There's practically nothing a team can do about those. It's just luck.

2) Fumble recovery luck, where again 2006 and 2008 were below-average: they should've recovered about 3.5 more fumbles/year than they did, which is the equivalent of about a 14-point swing or so.

Statistically those are about ~0.75 wins worth of points, which pulls those years closer to the average: but obviously that's just "on average." In actuality they definitely directly lost 3-4 games due to those.

124 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

"I should also point out there are a bunch of "bad luck" statistics you can look at to see why a team underperformed relative to estimated wins, even excluding schedule."

Of course there are 'bad luck' effects - but when they keep happening to the same coach over a 10 year period, they're no longer bad luck, they're bad coaching/bad execution/etc.

A lot of things look like luck because all of the participants have similar skill levels, and the luck washes out all the other factors- but that's not always the case. BABIP in baseball is a good example - it's largely luck when a guy has a low BABIP - until skill level drops significantly, and then low BABIP isn't luck, it's poor contact.

Kickoff and Punt distance aren't directly controllable, but they're most certainly related to special teams coverages - Teams kick for differing amounts of hang time depending on who they're playing.

Do you think it was good "luck" that Devin Hester got so many high, short, punts that were out of bounds?

145 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

"Of course there are 'bad luck' effects - but when they keep happening to the same coach over a 10 year period, they're no longer bad luck, they're bad coaching/bad execution/etc."

No, they're bad luck. Especially when they haven't been happening over a 10 year period, but more over 2 years as Pat explains.

182 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Of course there are 'bad luck' effects - but when they keep happening to the same coach over a 10 year period

It didn't "keep happening." It was 2 years. That's it. Yes, even if you take those two years out, you end up "slightly underperforming" but at that point you're talking about less than half a game/year.

You might ask why there wasn't an equivalent year on the flipside, where you win more than you expect. And there was, in 2004, when Reid tossed the final 2 games to rest starters, because it was ridiculously obvious to everyone that the only thing keeping them from the Super Bowl would've been injuries.

19 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

I swear, that Bradford trade was the dumbest damned personnel move since Jerrel got in the Johnny Walker Blue, and traded a 1st for the Roy Williams who couldn't play. Jerrel is a pathetic old stripper-mauling hooch-hound, who has had the blood flow to his brain restricted, by strip mall plastic surgeons who stretched his face too tight across his dome. What's Captain Chip's excuse?

43 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

What's the basis for attributing competence to Bradford? Taking that contract, and giving up a 2nd and a qb who has some trade value, for a guy with a poor track record of durability, and who has never had a season as good as the qb you are trading, seems.......puzzling.

126 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

I think it's a bad trade. Let's get that out of the way. I thought it at the time and I think it now, and that's even with Bradford outperforming his injury luck.

But let's not pretend that it is worse than the TRich trade. Bradford was a decent - not great, but decent - NFL QB this year. TRich was an absolute failure. Getting a decent QB for a 2nd round pick and Foles is a bad trade, but it's not a killer one. Losing your 1st round pick for an RB that wouldn't end up on your roster the next year is much worse.

I think in general that you need to try and get a franchise QB if you can in this league. Kelly was trying. He failed, and Bradford wasn't a good fit, but he tried. The logic behind that is reasonably sound.

130 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Well, yes, Trent Richardson was one I forgot about, and was worse. "Better than the Trent Richardson trade" may the most damning remark made with the most faint praise in history, along the lines of, 'better coach than Rich Kotite", or "he didn't draft as stupidly as Matt Millen".

I don't see the basis for the assertion that Bradford was decent this year, however.

160 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

He wasn't nearly as bad as many other QBs. He wasn't the main reason that the Eagles lost. He didn't play at a bad level of play. While his DVOA is lower than average, it's not significantly lower than average.

He was ranked 25th. He played around the level of Bortles, McCown, and Flacco. That to me is 'decent'. It's not appalling. It's not bad. It's not even replacement level. It's decent. And that assumes that you attribute all of that DVOA to him, which given that Eagles receivers led the league in dropped passes seems a bit uncharitable.

164 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

As is often the case, you get into semantic debates with stuff like this. Neither you or I have watched enough coach's film to really assess him well. One of the things I love about football is how much stuff is going on that you really can't see on the t.v. feed, but that also means that a good chunk of the time guys like you and me really aren't terribly well informed.

46 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

The Bradford trade can at least make sense on some level if you think he's top 10ish potential who's just been unlucky.

But then you have signing 2 starting running backs in what was apparently some kind of face-saving situation.

Letting both of your probowl level starting wide receivers leave in consecutive years for nothing with almost no back up plan.

Letting both starting guards leave, and literally not even finding replacement players for them.

48 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

The receivers is truly puzzling. Why Let Djax go and eat most of his salary in the cut? Why sign riley cooper but let maclin walk? Why trade Desean but then double down on running backs? And no, I don't think the bradford trade is justifiable because the earliest possible tape he could have been enamored with was back in 2012. There seems to be 0 cohesive thinking with any of the moves hes made.

49 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Letting the receivers go was truly puzzling. Why Let Djax go and eat most of his salary in the cut, after having such a good year? Why sign riley cooper but let maclin walk? Why trade Desean but then double down on running backs? And no, I don't think the bradford trade is justifiable either, because the earliest possible tape he could have been enamored with was back in 2012. There seems to be 0 cohesive thinking with any of the moves hes made.

127 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Letting Mathis and Herremans go was probably correct given how bad they've been elsewhere. The mistake there was not getting more depth at the line.

Letting Jackson and Maclin go was also probably not a bad move; WR talent is immensely overrated in the NFL as far as helping a team perform. Doug Baldwin is having a monster season, as an anecdote. Megatron isn't helping Detroit win a whole lot. Neither is Dez Bryant. Paying a bunch of money to receivers is a good way to hose you down the line.

The Maxwell signing was flat out stupid.

The Murray signing was flat out stupid.

129 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

That's some cherry picking. How are the Packers doing sans Nelson? The Patriots without Edelman or Gronk? Are Marshall or Decker helping the Jets win?

Or to bring this 100% full circle, lets look at the 2 players who left. Maclin and Jackson are both so worthless that the teams that signed them are both on their way to the playoffs right now.

The only team that looks bound for the playoffs with what I'd describe as poor receivers would be Carolina, and Olsen is probably a better pass catcher than anyone left on the Eagles.

133 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Do you honestly believe the reason that the Redskins are doing well is because of Jackson? Or the Chiefs because of Maclin? Reed is far more important to the Redskins than Jackson is right now. Jackson was on the team last year too - were the Redskins amazing?

The Packers aren't doing too horribly without Nelson and haven't all season. They're doing pretty horribly right now because their OLine is a shambles.

Seattle has crap receivers. I'm sorry, but Doug Baldwin isn't some insane star all of a sudden. Really, that's the key - it's not having one good receiver that matters, it's having multiple good receivers. The Pats aren't okay with having just Gronk - they need him and Edelman/Amendola/whoever.

152 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Having two good receivers can get a team starting Ryan Fitzpatrick to the edge of 11 wins and the playoffs, One great tight end, a few spare parts on the line and Tom Brady can get you 12-3 and a shot at the 1 seed. Losing two good receivers in two consecutive offseasons and trading for Sam Bradford will get you fired for certain.

131 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Other QBs traded for early picks in the past few years: Carson Palmer to the Raiders, Matt Cassel to the Chiefs, Jay Cutler to the Bears, Donovan McNabb to the Redskins, Kevin Kolb to the Cardinals, Robert Griffin to the Redskins, Alex Smith to the Chiefs. Not sure where I'd rank the Bradford trade relative to those, but it's definitely not last.

11 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

So who's going to be excited to coach in Philly next year? They seem to be setting up for a 49er-esque experience.

17 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Yeah, but this year "overachieving" is 6-9 with a roster he put together. Kelly's a servicable-to-pretty-good coach but his personnel moves were awful, and if he wasn't willing to give up the GM role then firing him becomes the only good option.

53 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

We have to be clear about what we're talking about. I submit Kelly the GM was worst gm in football and drove the eagles into the ground. I think Chip Kelly the head coach did his best to forestall the damage.

As for incredible talent - as you said, they had no qb so give kelly credit for fielding a better offense than Reid had the previous year.

64 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

If they were "incredibly talented" then 2012 Andy Reid may be the worst coach the NFL has ever seen.

As much as I love Andy Reid, this might technically be true. Andy Reid in 2012 was an absolute disaster as a coach. This might have something to do with the fact that he was understandably distracted after the tragic death of his son. You might have a bad year at work, too, under those circumstances.

65 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Here's the 2012 roster:

QB - multiple All Pro's
RB - multiple All Pro's
WR1 - Pro Bowler
WR2 - Jeremy Maclin
TE - Franchise all-time leader in yards & receptions
LT - multiple All Pro's
LG - multiple All Pro's
C - Pro Bowler
RG - 8 year veteran
RT - Dennis Kelly

The problem was as much injury as anything else: Peters missed all 16 games, Kelce 14, Herremans 8. Jackson, McCoy, Vick and Celek all missed multiple games to injury - even Maclin missed a game.

There was literally one change made to 2013's starting roster: Kelly added the #4 overall pick, Lane Johnson, at RT. And Johnson was the worst starter on the offense (although probably an improvement on Kelly.)

(Interestingly, the 2012 team even had Dion Lewis as a back-up - it really did have remarkable talent on the offensive side of the ball.)

67 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

None of these accolades mean anything - as most are several years removed.

Post prison Vick as your starting QB is not an asset.

This team was outscored by 165 points. They were terrible. And honestly, other than Vick only going 10 games, the injuries on offence look totally typical . McCoy played 12 games, Jackson 11, Macklin 15, Celek 15, etc.

70 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Not sure if I understand your point - of course it was a bad team. They went 4-12 and were 28th in DVOA.

It seems to me, though, like their the offensive roster had significant talent - and it's inarguable that almost all of it missed time due to injury. Only a single intended starter (Mathis) made it through the entire season - two potential starters (Watkins and Bell) were benched due to failure to perform.

Also, you are incorrect about their accolades being "several years removed" - Peters, Mathis, McCoy and Kelce received further accolades/Pro Bowls/All-Pro's in 2013. Jackson had a career year by DVOA in 2014 in Washington and a career year by yards in 2013. Maclin had a career year in DVOA in 2011 and then by yards in 2014.

Only Vick had likely entered into decline - although his DVOA numbers in 2012 were very much in line with his numbers in Atlanta (29th in 2005, 28th in 2012) when he received his Pro Bowls (I re-checked and was incorrect about Vick ever having been an All-Pro.) Celek's numbers have been consistent throughout his career, with a down year in 2014. In 2011, Jason Avant had a career year in terms of of yards and ypc. In 2012 his raw numbers were almost identical, but his DVOA improved markedly.

Herreman's productivity is purely a matter of subjective opinion.

73 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Again - guys winning awards several years later is irrelevant. Football players often have short careers with extreme trajectories. A guy can be a 'just a guy' one year, be a superstar 3 years later, and washed out 3 years after that.

The eagles had enormous issues in 2012 - you don't go 4-12 without enormous talent issues. Their line was bad, and their quarterbacking was terrible. The fact that they had young pre-prime Deshean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin is irrelevant if there's nobody to throw them the ball.

The only way to look at that team and see "enormous talent" is if you're building a fantasy roster.

81 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

I'm sorry - I misunderstood your perspective. Saying a "pre-prime DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin" when Jackson went to Pro Bowls in 2009 & 2010 and Maclin posted his career-best DVOA/DYAR in 2010 means you are probably not interested in having a discussion in terms of a truthful conversation.

This is my mistake, I apologize - I am not being sarcastic you are very emotional about this and it is my mistake.

98 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Stop assuming my emotional state, and stop with the ad-homs.

Individual player DVOA/DYAR is almost useless (outside of quarterbacks). And DVOA seems to have huge problems predicting the Andy Reid run Eagles performance, so it's not a particularly good metric here.

105 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

"And DVOA seems to have huge problems predicting the Andy Reid run Eagles performance"

This is some strange idea that's crept into FO mythology that's just not true. It started in 2006 with the 5-6 Eagles being very high in DVOA. Of course, the Eagles then ran off 5 wins and lost in the divisional round by a last-minute field goal. It started really gaining traction in 2008, when a 9-6-1 Philly team ranked #1 in overall DVOA. Except that 9-6-1 Philly team went to the conference championship, where they *led* until 3 minutes left in the game. With extenuating circumstances, too: namely, their defensive coordinator had just been diagnosed with (likely terminal) cancer.

Reid's estimated wins and actual wins are within about 7% of each other, which is a very far cry from "huge problems."

184 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Your recollection of the Eagles OL in 2012 is woefully incorrect.

LT - Demetress Bell (Jason Peters tore his achilles tendon twice during the off-season).
LG - Evan Mathis
C - Jason Kelce, until he got hurt and was replaced by Dallas Reynolds.
RG - Danny Watkins (out of the league two years later).
RT - Todd Herrmans, until he got hurt and was replaced by Dennis Kelly.

I also forgot that King Dunlap rotated between LT and RT between injuries/benching of the starters there, until he got hurt himself.

The biggest difference between 2012 and 2013 was that whole OL played the whole season together from OTAs to the end of the season.

101 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

I don't know. It's popular to blame 2012 on personal circumstances, but the Eagles were going through a double transition in the early 2010s, what with McNabb's career ending and losing JJ at DC. Personally I think that Reid was holding the Eagles together with near-magic over those years, so the 4-12 collapse when things fell apart a bit didn't surprise me.

Reid's biggest mistake, honestly, was firing McDermott at the end of 2010, and going to Juan Castillo in 2011, and then sticking with Castillo in 2012. I do have problems criticizing Castillo entirely, since I don't think he was an awful coach (certainly a great offensive line coach, and I think he might have found his footing as a DC given enough time, which they didn't have). It just wasn't a risk that team could afford.

But consider, the 3 DCs from 2009-2012 were McDermott, Castillo, and Bowles. McDermott is the DC for the #2 defensive ranked 14-1 Panthers. Bowles is the head coach of the #5 defensive ranked 10-5 New York Jets. Castillo is the OL coach for the Ravens.

Of course a lot of people are talking about Lurie targeting McDermott, which I would *so* be in favor of, obviously, given the above.

The QB situation was the other problem. I think Reid could've weathered either Vick's career ending, *or* the defense collapsing, but not both. If Vick had held together for most of the year, they probably would've made it to 8-8, and in the next year, Bowles would've had the team's defense looking like a top unit again, and they'd be searching for a QB. If he had never fired McDermott in the first place, they probably would've been in the playoffs in 2011, and people would've written off 2012 as what happens when a QB's career ends.

114 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

I'm no expert on the Eagles but this sounds reasonable to me. However, I don't think you can dismiss how much strain Reid's family issues would put on him. He seems like a big hearted guy, which is probably why his players seem to love him. But it need not be one thing or the other rather than all of the factors contributing to a perfect storm.

120 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Well, you could easily make the argument that Reid's struggles in figuring out how to replace JJ were directly related to him trying to deal with his kids as well. In fact, having Castillo replace McDermott seemed like one of those "big hearted" things as well, since Castillo was such a long time, well respected guy who really, really wanted to coach defense.

Garrett and Britt's troubles really hit a head just before the 2008 season, and Reid took a leave of absence there, and a lot of people blamed that for the 9-6-1 season (not me, that was just a bad schedule and crap luck, and I have a hard time criticizing an NFCCG appearance). Then to have a longtime friend/coworker die that next offseason as well, and have to replace him while still dealing with his kids... yeah, Reid's 2007-2012 years just must have been hell.

So in some sense, only making one really bad decision (replacing McDermott with Castillo) in all of that is pretty impressive, if you think about it.

172 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

The irony is that Chip's Eagles teams won because of their defense rather than their offense. Aside from the first season when Nick Foles lit up the league, they've been average, then bad.

What got Kelly fired is that he's not moving in the right direction. A lot of it comes down to the Bradford decision and the RB hirings. I think Maxwell will end up being a serviceable CB. But when his biggest offensive needs were OL and WR, Nelson Agholar isn't going to cut it.. For all the talk about Kelly having a "system," he seems to have an inaccurate idea what the system needs to succeed. And on the other side of the ball, the defense has also taken a step back despite being relatively healthy.

NFL games are generally won by talent on both sides of the ball. Some players and coaches can make others better, but generally shedding talent to better fit a system will only make the team worse... sad year for Philly sports with "The Process" and "The System" imploding.

16 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Free chemicalburn! Great news for the Eagles. Now there is hope again for you guys.

I do wonder why they fired him with one game remaining. The first thing to come to mind is that they feared Kelly was about to announce he was leaving and they wanted to beat him to the punch -which makes zero sense financially, but it is odd.

Who, me?

18 The Adventures of Captain Chip: The Mutiny on the Green Eagle

Dearest Arlette,

This is our journey’s end. I pray that this letter reaches you, for I will not.

In our last battle, heartbreak loomed over us. The ship’s masts were torn asunder. The enemy boarded the Green Eagle, spiriting away everything of value, and left us drifting. Little Liam was eaten by a sea monster. After months spent grasping desperately at any hope of victory, the cold steel of finality has struck us down.

The only comfort that remained for us was vengeance. We took up arms against Captain Chip, and the deck was soon teeming with lit torches and keen blades. The mutiny, long overdue, put an end to Captain Chip’s blunders.

We tied a cannon ball to Captain Chip, and made him walk the plank. As his body sank to the bottom of the sea, only the strong rum we drank could turn our minds away from the inevitability of joining him. The Green Eagle is hamstrung, and we will not survive much longer in these seas. We can only take grim solace in the fact that we have spared others the misfortune of a journey under Captain Chip’s command.

To you, my love, and to our children, I leave all my worldly possessions, and all the love in my heart. Know that my tranquil spirit will look down upon you for all of your days. I will rest peacefully knowing that you will keep my memory alive in your hearts.

Your loving husband,

24 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

I've said this previously, but it seems like Kelly's system can't fail, provided he has the right quarterback to run it. Which makes it different from precisely 0% of other coaches' systems.

29 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

So.....who's going to be taking the Eagles job?

No franchise QB, all of Chip's players and win more than 26 games in 3 years or get fired. Doesn't look very desirable to me.

This thread isn't complete until Chemical Burn gives us his thoughts.

Also, as others have pointed out, it's pretty remarkable that Brett Brown outlasted Kelly in Philly.

34 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

I doubt the owner will hold someone accountable for only winning 26 games in 3 years in this situation. Chip got fired for his GM work, which turned the team into a rebuilding site. Isn't the old general manager, who worked with Reid for ten years, still employed? Reinstate him, and they're probably good in two years. And it's not like the division is awesome; the team that shall not be named for Lovecraftian reasons won it with only 8 wins.

75 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

"Reinstate him, and they're probably good in two years"

They went 4-12 the year before Kelly, and were just above .500 after losing the 2004 superbowl. There's no reason to think bringing back that GM would be an improvement.

Kelly had his problems, but the eagles were a bad team with bad coaching prior to him taking it over. Andy Reid was fantastic at one point, but that point was the early 2000s.

77 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Andy Reid's Eagles's DVOA in the pre-2005 era is not notably better than after:

1999: 24th
2000: 8th
2001: 1st
2002: 5th
2003: 6th
2004: 6th

(The DVOA rankings in both eras are very good, in my opinion.)

80 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

In my opinion, I think Hoodie_Sleeves is willfully ignoring facts, although I truly don't mean that to be aggressive - I honestly think he is not interested in discussing Andy Reid in terms of facts, but that is just my opinion and I don't intend to be negative about it.

Andy Reid's KC teams have ranked the following in DVOA:

2013: 6th
2014: 10th
2015: 5th

Those numbers are in keeping with his tenure in Philadelphia and also (inarguably in my opinion) better than Kelly's in Philadelphia. Certainly, the lowest low is not nearly as bad as Kelly's 2015.

99 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Could you stop assuming and stating that you have any idea what I'm interested in discussing? You don't.

Andy Reid's team in KC is irrelevant - there's nothing comparable between the Chip Kelly Eagles and the Andy Reid Chiefs.

About the only thing that can be surmised by looking at those numbers is that either Andy Reid became a drastically better coach between 2012 and 2013, or that the 2013 Chiefs have drastically more talent than the 2012 Eagles did. Both are possible, and both are probably true.

But neither tells us anything about Chip Kelly.

109 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

I don't know about chem, I hope we'll hear from him, but while I think it's a good decision given what I suspected a few weeks ago (the locker room does not support him anymore), I'm not really happy, just sad for the state of this team/franchise. I don't see any great candidate for the role right now (is Chuck Pagano really the best option?).
I feel more bullish about the 76ers, and that's saying something.

110 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

"(is Chuck Pagano really the best option?)."

Dude what. Adam Gase is probably the hottest name. I'll throw out my dark horse, Dave Toub. There's probably half a dozen coordinators in the NFL who deserve a shot that we may or may not think about.

115 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

It would be fascinating to hear Gase being interviewed for a head coach job, and hear his opinions on which reclamation project qbs, who will be available, and there will be a few of them, he'd most like to work with.

If Madam Ford and her new GM were smart, and I hope they aren't, they'd can Caldwell Sunday night, and have Gase hired by Monday morning. Make a division rival worse, while making yourself better, is always a good move, and they need to find out, once and for all, if Stafford will be consistently good. I can't think of anyone better than Gase for that job.

116 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Ooh, that would be a big blow to the Chiefs. He's obviously brilliant as a ST coordinator. Are there other reasons you think he'd be a good choice? Just curious. Like any right thinking person, I've been totally impressed by his ST work.

118 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

I don't think we have a very good grasp on what makes a good head coach, but a decade of sustained excellence at a given unit seems as good a resume as anything.

I've also over the years been drifting away from wanting a coach to specialize in offense or defense. In my opinion the head coach needs to coach the whole team, and I think a special teams background would be perhaps more suited to this as he would treat offense and defense with equal attention and favor.

59 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

The funny thing is that this could end up being fantastic for Kelly himself, even if he wouldn't ever think that that was true. But now if he gets hired somewhere else (say, with the Titans) Kelly the coach can avoid having his chances ruined by Kelly the GM. One of those cases where someone doesn't really know what's actually good for them.

Meanwhile the Eagles really screwed up in allowing Kelly to be GM. That was a very costly mistake since it lead to a horribly depleted roster and what will probably be a big downgrade at the coaching position as well. Disastrous no matter how you look at it.

84 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Isn't a lot of the Kelly tenure about a lack of people skills? Being a leader is more than making and implementing decisions. It's also about getting those who are going to be part of the plan to understand the plan and even if they don't completely 'buy' the plan will give good effort in supporting the plan?

Just seemed like Kelly went out of his way to alienate people. And that means as soon as things get a bit difficult folks start undermining leadership.

86 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Agreed. You can get away with being a prick to everybody as long as you are constantly winning, but you don't get the year or two (or three or four) of benefit of the doubt that other guys get who are better at the people part (like Reid and Lovie).

And as Alex51 has demonstrated, sometimes points like this can be more effectively made through non-standard methods of argument. (Yay, literature!)

89 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

There's also a real delineation between a coach's public/media persona, and his realtionship with players and other team employees. Belichik may be a real jerk to the media (I think it is entertaining), but his players, to my knowledge, have never viewed him that way.

106 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Did Tom Jackson ever give any sources for that? Or could it be that he basically just made it up after they got crushed by the Bills?

Because 'just making stuff up' is pretty much what these guys do for a living.

117 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Tom Jackson has made so many incredibly inane comments over the years it's only because he sits next to the King of Wrong, Chris Berman, that he is not recognized as the dumbest man on television.

And he got started early when he declared in the early 90's that Dave Wannstadt and whomever was the Bears qb of the moment were on the right track and that Holmgren/Favre would soon be out of the league.

123 Re: Eagles Release Chip Kelly

Well, Belichick has lost a few players over the years.

He lost Adalius Thomas in 2008/2009 and he lost Moss in 2010. But Moss has always been a kind of his own person doing his own thing and it was surprising to see him gel with the Patriots foot solider mentality for as long as he did. As for Thomas, he was a special teamer with Baltimore and kind of was his own person too - not really wanting to tow the team line.

I think both rifts started in 2008 when they were sent home for being late to a team meeting because of a snow storm. The team had been told to not be late to meetings and they had also been told that traffic is terrible after it snows. I think they were a bit late and they both got sent home (along with Gary Guyton) and that really rankled Thomas and Moss just brushed it off but still felt 'disrespected'.

But I think there have been others that have really not wanted to work for the Pats. I'm thinking most notably of Reggie Wayne at the end of this last preseason. It was reported by Mike Reiss of ESPN that Wayne really didn't click with the hard work nature of the Patriots and how they drive their WR's.

Interestingly though, Belichick had arrangements with a lot of other veterans at other more physical positions for them to skip training camp if he didn't think they needed it, most notably Brian Waters and Junior Seau. He kinda treats Gronk that way too. Gronk barely participates in a lot of the hitting and pre-season games and just shows up for agility drills and red zone work with Brady

When it comes to Belichick I think he's really a rules based guy that lets a lot of other stuff go. Sure, he wants to draft/sign good lunch pail workers, team captains from college, a lot of guys who talk a lot about their faith in interviews and yet he has no problem hiring malcontents and others with shady pasts if they are going to produce on the field. He brought in Dillion, Moss, Chad Johnson (Ocho). He also had Kevin Faulk who was busted for marijuana several times in the early 2000's and then he also drafted A Hernandez even given his questionable background. I think that Belichick is happy to divide personal life and professional life as long as you take care of your work and are a team player. If you're not taking care of work because your personal life interferes then it's a problem. Hence the rules about being late, etc. Similarly I think Belichick treats most media like the morons they are because they aren't asking football questions but they're asking soap opera questions.

The media doesn't ask: "On defense you countered their Ace personnel group with three safeties, do you think Harmon provides you with a better schematic match up rather than Hightower at this time since Harmon is faster? Do you see 'x' TE as more of a reciever than a blocker?" Instead they ask questions like: "What were you thinking when they took the lead?" - "We didn't like them having the lead". Well, what else would he say?

Belichick will often say very interesting schematic things when asked about scheme and matchups and doesn't really touch other issues; for instance, on the Patriots Website he does film breakdown of several plays after the Patriots win. If they don't win then there's no film breakdown. But when reporters recently asked him about the NFL league office being on Santa's naughtly list he says he leaves that to the elves. The one exception is Marv Levy. He'll rip on Marv Levy if asked about it (via Smartfootball.com).

FYI, I cheer for the Patriots because of Kraft and Belichick. Brady is great and all but I can't stand the way he whines. I mean, if you're not cheering for ownership you're really just cheering for the laundry. Well, I do have friends (I'm in Canada) that cheer for specific players and only watch games of those particular player, that kinda makes sense too.