By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There was Chip Kelly’s mention of Wing Bowl, Vince Papale, and the passion of Eagles fans during his first press conference as head coach. There was his call to Angelo Cataldi, visit to Wing Bowl, and “Yo Philly!”
Kelly’s honeymoon with Philadelphia fans was fueled with “he gets us!,” which is in stark contrast to the relationship fans felt they had with Andy Reid.
The honeymoon, as honeymoons tend to do, ended quickly with Kelly’s decision to retain quarterback Michael Vick. Fans who were giving Kelly a pass on a coaching staff full of what appears to be retreads and unknowns, took back that pass with vigor.
With his coaching staff and his quarterback, Kelly made one thing very clear: he’s not making moves to make fans happy right this second.
He may not make the right moves, but at least he’s making them for the right reasons.
For what it’s worth, I think the decision to keep Vick is a bad one, because I just don’t believe he can play anymore. When I make my list of positives and negatives, the list of positives is just too short and limited with Vick..
I’ve got almost no opinion on the coaching staff, because it’s difficult to make those calls without knowing exactly what goes into those decisions, and without being in the room for the interviews.
These may very well be all the wrong decisions. But it’s pretty clear Kelly is making the decisions he thinks are most likely to bring wins to the Eagles, and not positive calls to WIP.
Perhaps I’m just struggling to find something positive in what’s been a pretty terrible year of sports here in Philly.
If Kelly is really to succeed in Philadelphia, it’s smart that he concentrate on the marriage, and not the honeymoon. Press conferences and Wing Bowls make for a great honeymoon, but wins and a (GASP!) Super Bowl will make for a great marriage.
I’m not endorsing the moves themselves, but the idea that Kelly is comfortable and secure enough to make them. There’s no way he’s not aware that the decision to keep Vick wouldn’t be a popular one. But history shows, the response to Vick will change if he plays well, if he wins.
As the saying goes, if you listen to the fans too much, you might end up sitting with them.