Over the past few months, Chip Kelly has come under a lot of scrutiny. From LeSean McCoy’s racial accusations to DeSean Jackson recently saying that his former coach had tried to “blow him up” following his departure. But the question is, why do former players keep throwing heat towards coach Kelly, and are they right in what they’re saying?
The main factor we have to take into account here is change. If you look at the players that joined the birds nest during the off-season, they speak nothing but gold about Chip Kelly and his system. Byron Maxwell believes the team can go all the way this season, DeMarco Murray is also confident of a good season whilst Walter Thurmond has expressed his own faith in wide receiver Nelson Agholor. This years first round pick has told various sources how happy he is to be in the organisation.
The point here is all of these players, are Chip’s moves. They were brought into the team by Chip to be used in his Offense. When he took over, the players he had were Andy Reid’s pro bowlers. Andy Reid’s players for Andy Reid’s Offense. Two very different styles of player needed for two very different styles of Offense.
Players like McCoy and Jackson have to be regarded as somewhat franchises. They earn crazy amounts of money for putting up big numbers and with that comes a certain ego. If you try and change the way they play the game then there is going to be backlash. At the time Kelly was a new coach trying to bring in a whole new system. But these players are often outspoken and will want to make their opinions known as they feel they have a right to be heard. Not everyone in that lineup wanted to switch to an Up-Tempo Offense. Those players have now been removed from the team and replaced by those who do.
We know now that McCoy was not the running back Chip Kelly envisioned when he planted the foundations of his team two seasons ago. He revealed a month or so ago that Murray fits the criteria much better due to the way he punches through the holes in the Defense as opposed to cutting away and making his own elusive routes, something McCoy was known for. If a player knows he is not wanted in an organisation and is forced to play an entire season then there is inevitably going to be a lot of tension. Players both present and former have backed Chip Kelly saying that it’s not the sort of thing he would do. Michael Vick has told sources that he would never imagine Kelly saying such things too. So why bring it up? Nobody knows for sure but the best comparison we can come up with is this.
At school, there was always that one class you could screw around in, make jokes, put in half as much effort and just have a laugh. If a new teacher takes over that class and is a lot stricter, forcing you to do work (which you weren’t used to doing) you begin to resent that teacher and therefore will talk smack about them.
The other side of it however is somewhat bitter. Jackson knows he’s talented. He’s very egotistical but he had so much success in Philly and knew he was regarded as one of their star players. For Kelly to let him go so easily, Jackson is obviously going to take a distaste and hold a grudge. For someone who did so much for the team to just be sent packing without much hesitation is a bold move by any coach. It’s not exactly a moment that is going to just fade away in the memory within a few weeks, hence the Washington celebrations. I think the allegations are false, but the only people who truly know are the players and Chip Kelly.
We know these players have contributed a lot for the birds in their time at the team, but this is a new era now. If players don’t want to be there, Kelly has been very assertive in showing them where the door is. If you’re going to hold a grudge because you get traded due to showing a negative attitude, it’s somewhat shallow. The team have moved on, it’s been almost two years since the release of DJax, it’s a shame he can’t seem to let it go instead of getting on with his career.