Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie addressed reporters today to discuss his decision to dismiss head coach Chip Kelly, and confirmed that, as we heard this morning, he didn’t offer Kelly a chance to keep the job without the control over the team’s personnel (Twitter link via Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports).
As Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News tweets, Lurie explained the timing of his decision by telling the media that he wanted to get a headstart on the search for a new head coach, allowing Kelly to begin looking for a new job as well.
Perhaps most importantly, the fact that the move was made several days early gave Lurie time to have a players-only meeting today and to plan on meeting with certain Eagles players later today and on Monday as well. As he considers who to hire as Philadelphia’s new head coach, Lurie clearly wants some input from the players, tweets Tom Pelissero of USA Today.
Here are several more highlights from Lurie’s presser….
On the decision to fire Kelly:
- Issues between Kelly and the Eagles’ players were a factor in the decision to fire Kelly, but Lurie doesn’t believe that the head coach lost the locker room (Twitter links via Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com and Albert Breer of the NFL Network).
- Lurie indicated that a recent conversation with DeMarco Murray had “zero” to do with his decision, noting that he talks to a lot of players (Twitter link via Breer).
- Lurie acknowledged something that Kelly had long denied, confirming that Chip had insisted on specific power and personnel control, tweets Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com. The end result of giving Kelly that power was “mediocrity,” Lurie said (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post).
On the Eagles’ front office:
- Going forward, Howie Roseman will be responsible for making the player personnel department is as good as it can be, while Tom Donahoe will oversee day-to-day operations, Lurie announced (Twitter link).
- Lurie is hopeful that the team can employ a “more collaborative approach” between the head coach and the front office, suggesting that no one person will dictate personnel decisions (Twitter link via Breer).
- The Eagles don’t plan on hiring a new general manager. Roseman, Donahoe, and the new head coach will be the club’s primary decision-makers (Twitter links via Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer).
On the search for a new head coach:
- The Eagles’ brain trust spent the morning researching head coaching candidates and making calls, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). At his presser, Lurie confirmed that the club immediately got its coaching search underway last night.
- Internal candidates may be considered for the head coaching job, according to Lurie (Twitter link). The Eagles owner isn’t ruling anyone out — college coaches, NFL coordinators, and offensive- and defensive-minded coaches will all be in play (Twitter link via Breer).
- Lurie indicated that the team’s next head coach will have to be able to open his heart to players and understand “emotional intelligence.” Mosher tweets that that’s a “clear shot” at Kelly’s inability to communicate with his players.
Additional Eagles notes:
- Asked about Kelly’s dismissal today, Eagles lineman Lane Johnson said that the former head coach was unapproachable, and also cited tension within the front office as a problem for the team (Twitter links via Breer and ESPN’s Ashley Fox).
- Director of player engagement Marcus Sedberry is among the Eagles execs no longer with the team after yesterday’s shake-up, tweets Berman.