Chip Kelly has taken many hits to the chin in his tenure as the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Kelly has had no issue dismissing players, regardless of talent level, who don’t fit his “mold” and has been criticized by outgoing players. Some players have alleged that Kelly has issues with players of color; others say his dislike is for players that are too strong in personality.
Is it racial bias or just a coach who wants control? Consider Kelly's last gig: head coach at the University of Oregon. The culture in college and the NFL are polar opposites. The college game affords the coaches complete control of the program from top to bottom, whereas in the NFL, a coach is a part of a team along with directors of player personnel and general managers.
Kelly has absorbed the position of head of player personnel and has used his power to shape the Eagles roster.
Notable players that have been released under Kelly’s reign include DeSean Jackson, who caught 82 passes for 1,332 yards in his final year in Philadelphia; LeSean McCoy, who rushed for 1,319 for Kelly in 2014; and most recently, cornerback Brandon Boykin. Boykin stopped short of calling Kelly a racist, in fact he spoke of Kelly in terms of being anti-social. Boykin intimated that Kelly was not able to relate to black players or, as Boykin put it, “grown men of our culture.”
Chip Kelly’s decision making, however controversial, has not drawn the ire of Philadelphia fans and has not cost him in terms of wins. Kelly has posted identical 10-6 records in his first 2 seasons. Time will tell whether Kelly’s approach will prove a successful model and further evidence is required to access whether a cultural bias exists, or if Kelly is just a new breed of coach who wants ultimate control of his team from top to bottom.