Chip Kelly Fired by Eagles: Owner Jeffrey Lurie Comments on Decision to Fire HC

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 30, 2015

Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, left, introduces  Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, right, during a press conference at the team's NFL football training facility, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in Philadelphia.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

The Philadelphia Eagles surprised many by announcing the firing of head coach Chip Kelly on Tuesday, five days before the 2015 regular season ended. 

On Wednesday, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie spoke publicly about the team's decision to move on from Kelly after three seasons. 

The first thing Lurie wanted to make clear was his respect for Kelly's work ethic while with the team, per Dave Zangaro of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia:

Per Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports, Lurie said there was no offer presented to Kelly about staying on but giving up control over player personnel. 

The Eagles owner said that the decision to move on from Kelly "was really a three-year evaluation," adding that they "looked where they were trending and where we're going 'in the foreseeable future,'" per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. 

Per Conor Orr of, Lurie noted that "the end result was mediocrity" during Kelly's three-year tenure with the franchise. He also said this was "a clear and important decision that had to be made," per La Canfora

Lurie told reporters he "knew what the pitfalls were" when the Eagles made the "bold choice" to hire Kelly, per Eliot Shorr-Parks of 

There was a report from's Ian Rapoport that Eagles running back DeMarco Murray spoke directly to Lurie about how he had no confidence in Kelly as the team's head coach. 

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However, per the NFL Network's Albert Breer, Lurie said Murray "had zero to do with it. I talk to a lot of players on the airplane."

Looking to the future, Lurie wished Kelly luck in whatever his future role may end up being, per Garafolo:

For the Eagles, Lurie said the team's next head coach will have a "much more collaborative" approach to personnel decisions with the front office, per's Marc Sessler. He also said Eagles Executive Vice President of Football Operations Howie Roseman will be involved in the collaborative efforts, per Tim McManus of 97.5 The Fanatic. 

According to Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Eagles will use Roseman and senior advisor Tom Donahoe in lieu of hiring a general manager. 

Kelly's tenure in Philadelphia started out on a high note, making the playoffs in 2013, but it rapidly devolved into a mess of questionable roster decisions, like signing Murray only to use him sparingly or trading for oft-injured Sam Bradford and getting rid of productive players like LeSean McCoy and Nick Foles

The Eagles could have given Kelly one more year to prove himself, but posting a losing record in 2015 after back-to-back 10-win seasons was a signal that things weren't going to work out long term. 

Both sides were able to get a clean break with enough time to find the best fit for 2016. Kelly is a smart, innovative offensive mind who won't have problems finding a new job.

The Eagles have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball to build around. They just need to find the right head coach who can handle X's and O's on the field with the ability to manage personalities in the locker room to get back in the playoff picture next season.