LeSean McCoy is arguably the best example of why Chip Kelly’s head coaching tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles ended after just three seasons.
Their embattled relationship was the most visible in the media of all Kelly's issues with other players, and his decision to trade the former rushing champion to the Buffalo Bills last March was the clearest example of Kelly’s autonomy on personnel decisions.
McCoy has publicly voiced his displeasure with Kelly multiple times. He brought up accusations of racial bias over personnel decisions immediately after he was traded and then again in December when he said he would refuse to shake Kelly’s hand after the Bills-Eagles meeting in Week 14.
Yet when pressed for advice for the San Francisco 49ers, Kelly’s new team, McCoy surprisingly spoke fondly of his former head coach in an interview with NFL Total Access (h/t Kevin Patra of NFL.com):
Every situation is different. The one thing I will say about Chip is that he wants to win. He's very, very intelligent. The offense, they'll find ways to get the big numbers. They'll find ways to put the stats up offensively. With him coming in there, no matter how good of a player or low player you are, if you just automatically believe him -- no matter if it sounds crazy, you're like what is he talking about -- if you just automatically believe and buy in, I think you'll be fine.
Those comments are surprising given McCoy didn’t always see eye-to-eye with his former head coach.
But offense was never an issue during McCoy’s two years with Kelly. The Eagles ranked among the top five in total offense and scoring, going 10-6 in both seasons, though they failed to make the playoffs in 2014.
McCoy seems to have found a haven in Buffalo, saying on NFL Network he fits better in a more “laid-back” style under head coach Rex Ryan (h/t ESPN.com's Mike Rodak). And Kelly is getting a second chance in San Francisco with 49ers owner Jed York after his time working with Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, who seemingly decided to fire Kelly well before axing him after Week 16.
A fresh start for both seems to have subsided McCoy's highly publicized issues with Kelly.