By Kevin McGuire
The Philadelphia Eagles hit the reset button on the franchise on Tuesday by announcing the firing of head coach and general manager Chip Kelly after three years. Kelly’s firing comes as the Eagles struggled to a 6-9 record with one game left to play in the 2015 season, this weekend against the New York Giants. The announcement has come as a shock for many and now everyone is scrambling just to figure out what happens next for the Eagles and for Kelly.READ MORE: David Savage Charged After Killing Girlfriend, Opening Fire On Officers At SEPTA Terminal In Upper Darby: DA
Jeff Lurie addresses decision to fire Chip Kelly
By firing the hand-chosen head coach and promoted general manager, Eagles owner Jeff Lurie has said without question he feels he messed up significantly. Lurie made a bold hire by bringing Kelly to the NFL from Oregon, and by canning Kelly after three seasons shows Lurie had buyer’s remorse for whatever reason. Lurie thanks Kelly for all of the contributions Kelly made during his brief time in Philadelphia with a released statement on Tuesday and addressed the news with the media with reporters on Wednesday.
Who is Next for the Eagles?
The Eagles now have a job to fill, but who will fill it? The odds are probably pretty good the Eagles will stick to the more traditional approach by bringing in a head coach with NFL coaching experience, either as an assistant or as a head coach. Whoever takes over the job will have to be accompanied by a general manager, and the two absolutely must work well together. Otherwise, the Eagles will head down another dark road. Get ready to hear people throw out the names of Jon Gruden and maybe even Bill Cowher. New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has already been mentioned, which might be interesting given he has won a Super Bowl, but whoever take son the job will have plenty of work to do in revamping the Eagles’ offensive line and defense. Payton has a good track record with that.READ MORE: NFL Week 13 AFC East Preview: CBS Boston's Levan Reid Calls AFC East Title Fight A Battle Of 'Big Brother Vs Little Brother'
Kelly still wants to coach in the NFL
Following the dismissal of Kelly, reports quickly surfaced saying the now former Eagles head coach still wants to coach in the NFL rather than return to the college game. As fate would have it, he may not have any other choice but to coach in the NFL if he wants to be a head coach in 2016. The NFL coaching carousel is just getting started, so there will likely be opportunities to pursue if any NFL franchise wants to take a chance on giving Kelly another job so quickly, especially if he is willing to not take on a GM role. The other part of the conversation is the fact the coaching carousel in college football has already closed, at least temporarily. All vacancies in college football at the FBS level have been filled, but if any current college football coach is considered and offered a job in the NFL, then Kelly’s return to the college ranks could be expedited. Kelly is far from a failure of a head coach at either level, despite his losing his job this week. He just has room to improve in the NFL and could benefit by having a stronger supporting cast around him on the sidelines.
Lane Johnson, Jordan Matthews, Eric Rowe share their reactions
The removal of Chip Kelly was surprising for players juts as much as it was a surprise for fans. Lane Johnson, Jordan Matthews and Eric Rowe all offered their reactions with WIP in the first 24 hours since Kelly’s firing. One common response from those three players was that Kelly may not have lost the locker room as much as it has been perceived. Johnson said the fault fell on the players for not performing. Matthews suggested small rumblings got magnified more in Philadelphia due to more press following the team than in some other cities. Rowe argued nobody lost faith in Kelly, although admitted there were frustrations. Players were not told directly about the fate of their head coach either, according to some reports. Some ended up finding out about the news on Twitter.MORE NEWS: SportsLine Week 13 AFC West Picks: 'Denver Designed Well To Stop What Kansas City Does,' Says Larry Hartstein
Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on Examiner.com.