The curtain has finally been pulled on the Wizard of Broad Street!
In one swift move this past week, Philadelphia Eagles' owner Jeff Lurie once again changed the entire future direction of his team with the firing of his head coach Chip Kelly. It took Andy Reid 14 seasons to wear out is welcome in the City of Brotherly Love, but despite two 10-win seasons, Kelly was sent packing after fulfilling just three years of a four-year contract.
There are some highly irrational owners in the NFL that like to change coaches like underwear, but Lurie definitely does not fall into that category. He is the type of owner that strives for consistency from one season to next as was evident in Reid's long tenure with the team despite some big ups and downs along the way. The last time I looked, Reid has his Kansas City Chiefs headed to the playoffs for the second time in his three seasons with his new team.
I will go on record as publicly criticizing Kelly for the way he dismantled this team during last year's offseason and I will go on record as publicly praising him for those moves during a very promising preseason. The two things that I have personally learned from this ordeal is that disassembling a winning combination and expecting the same results does not work in the NFL. I have also learned to put absolutely zero stock in whatever happens in the NFL preseason.
I coined Kelly as "The Wizard of Broad Street" and while the name never stuck beyond my blog, I still think the name defines the man. If Reid became known in his press conferences for mysterious answers followed by "the time is yours", Kelly remained extremely aloof with the Philadelphia press and he was always quick to downplay anything negative that was thrown his way.
It appears that his callous and almost arrogant attitude towards the whole situation is what eventually got Kelly fired as opposed to his team's dismal performance on the field in a number of games this season. Lurie has already gone on record as saying that he did not intend to fire Kelly this week in a one-on-one meeting that must have went south in a hurry. When faced with the idea of giving up his role as director of player personnel, Kelly apparently refused and things probably unraveled from there.
My take on the whole situation is that Kelly was not really cut out to be a NFL coach. His desire to control every aspect of his team is better suited in a college environment where he can recruit the players he wants on a continual basis and where constant change is part of the program.