LeSean McCoy on 'Little Short' Chip Kelly: He's 'With the Kids Where He Belongs'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2018

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly meets with LeSean McCoy during NFL football practice at the team's training facility, Thursday, June 6, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy still holds a grudge against his former head coach with the Philadelphia Eagles, Chip Kelly. A big one.

"I got a lot of love for Philadelphia now that the little short coach is with the kids where he belongs," McCoy said Sunday on NFL Network (h/t Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk).

McCoy was referencing Kelly's return to the college game, as Kelly agreed to become the head coach of UCLA in November. The running back's ire stems from the 2015 trade in which Kelly sent McCoy to Buffalo in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso.

It's not the first time McCoy was openly critical of Kelly.

In December 2015, he said he wouldn't shake Kelly's hand when the Bills faced the Eagles in McCoy's return to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. He also reportedly hung up on Kelly when the head coach tried to call him before that game to make amends.

McCoy levied more serious allegations against Kelly during an interview with Mike Rodak for ESPN The Magazine in May 2015:

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"The relationship was never really great. I feel like I always respected him as a coach. I think that's the way he runs his team. He wants the full control. You see how fast he got rid of all the good players. Especially all the good black players. He got rid of them the fastest. That's the truth. There's a reason. ... It's hard to explain with him. But there's a reason he got rid of all the black players—the good ones—like that."

McCoy also seemed to feel vindicated by Kelly's firing from the Eagles in 2015 and Kelly's subsequent struggles with the San Francisco 49ers in 2016 (the Niners went 2-14 in Kelly's lone season as head coach).

"I was honest. But you know what? I kind of noticed that after the fact when he had that team [in Philadelphia] go down and they fired him and [he] went to San Fran and the same thing happened over there, then it's like, 'OK, maybe LeSean McCoy was right,'" he said on NFL Network's Good Morning Football in January 2017 (h/t Mike Murphy for NBC Sports Philadelphia). "But it took forever, right? So I took a year or two just to get the heat and the backlash. But I'm an honest person."

McCoy may not have wanted to leave Philadelphia—and it's fascinating to imagine him on the current iteration of the team, which is a win away from the Super Bowl—but interestingly, the McCoy trade played a small part in the Eagles' landing star quarterback Carson Wentz with the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NFL draft.

Philly traded Alonso to the Miami Dolphins alongside cornerback Byron Maxwell and the No. 13 pick in the 2016 draft for the No. 8 pick. The Eagles then shipped that No. 8 pick to the Cleveland Browns with four other selections for the No. 2 pick, which they used on Wentz, and a fourth-rounder.

It's obviously a stretch to suggest Kelly played a part in helping the Eagles land Wentz, who was an MVP candidate before he tore his ACL in December. But it's an interesting subplot from the 2015 trade, which left McCoy smarting—and still taking shots at Kelly all these years later.


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