Eagles legends shoot on Chip Kelly: What we learned about the chaotic rise and fall of the controversial Head Coach

Eagles DeSean jackson
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 22: Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson (10) walks off the field in the first half during the game between the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles on October 22, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The rise and fall of Chip Kelly in Philadelphia probably deserves a documentary series at this point. One of the most infamous coaching tenures in Eagles history for all the wrong reasons, Chip Kelly’s reign of terror has luckily been swept aside and replaced with a Super Bowl win and another berth back in 2022. However, it was only a matter of time until former players sounded off on the controversial Head Coach.

Eagles legends DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy have recently started a podcast called the 25/10 show (their Eagles jersey numbers!) and dove deep into that chaotic period during their latest episode.

The two players were among the fan-favorites exiled during Chip Kelly’s era, dismantling a team fans had plenty of hope and love for.

Chip Kelly was worse than Eagles fans thought

The biggest thing we learned from the podcast was that Chip Kelly’s coaching methods simply didn’t mesh with grown NFL athletes. Whether it was his distant communication that often created friction between himself and his players, or the fact that Kelly never really addressed concerns and issues first-hand, it left a sour taste in the mouths of players.

DeSean Jackson stated that Kelly appeared scared of the star wideout, which caused the Eagles’ great to lose respect and lack the desire to ‘run through a wall’ for him.

If you compare that to how Nick Sirianni broaches things, it’s an entirely different universe. The term ’emotional intelligence’ was something Jeffrey Lurie circled in red when selecting his next coaching hire (Doug Pederson) and that sentiment has remained strong ever since.

There were also a few notable anecdotes of the coach appearing ‘uncomfotable’ around black players. LeSean McCoy told a story about how then-rookie CB Roc Carmichael as asked to cut his hair to ‘look more presentable’ which is just absolutely wild to think about.

DeSean Jackson eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 20: Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson (10) walks the field during a timeout in the second half during the game between the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles on September 20, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

According to Statista, 53% of players in the NFL last season were African American. While Chip’s tenure was nearly a decade ago, it’s genuinely outlandish to imagine a Head Coach stepping into a league with such a disrespectful attitude towards African American’s. It’s also a shame it took years to come to light, but hopefully it prevents future situations of a similar nature.

Let’s also not forget the Riley Cooper incident. The white wideout was fined by the Eagles for using a racial slur at a Black security guard during a concert in 2013 and asked to undergo internal training. Instead of trying to bring the team together to help Cooper understand why his actions were so wrong, LeSean McCoy noted how Kelly kept Cooper away from his teammates, creating a very awkward situation where players couldn’t communicate and try to move on in a healthy manner.

The end of an era

The two players also touched on their heartbreaking departures. LeSean McCoy was traded to the Buffalo Bills and DeSean Jackson was released after an article tying him to gang-related activities surfaced. This was later proven to be false and fans were understandably livid for a long time, but the article tarnished DeSean Jackson’s career and stripped him of future endorsement deals and opportunities, the wideout went on to note. For Kelly to make the move without really doing his own due diligence (as its implied at least) is just another example of baffling behavior from the Head Coach.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 03: Philadelphia Eagles retried running back LeSean McCoy (25) is honored during the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs on October 3, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Eagles legends give quick takes on Chip Kelly

The two players phoned up some friends and former teammates and asked them to give their opinions on Chip Kelly. The answers were short, but sweet.

Jason Peters: “A bullsh*t guy.”
Brandon Graham: “Selfish”
Jeremy Maclin : “Trash”


It’s rare for a Head Coach to become unanimously disliked by a team, but Kelly some how found a way through a hunger for power, misplaced values and a sense of entitlement. The whole episode linked above is worth a listen, but I think we can all be thankful that the era has come to an end and that both players are still ultimately regarded as some of the best to ever put on an Eagles uniform despite all the chaos and unrest.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire