After nearly three full seasons as Philadelphia Eagles head coach, owner Jeff Lurie has made the decision to fire head coach Chip Kelly with one game remaining in the Eagles 2015 season. Kelly took over as head coach on Jan. 16, 2013 after the Eagles had a season with a final record of 4-12, led by former Eagles head coach Andy Reid.
Kelly came into the NFL as a college coach for the Oregon Ducks. At Oregon, Kelly started as an offensive coordinator and eventually became the head coach. Kelly remained as Oregon’s head coach for three seasons. During his first season as head coach, Kelly became the first PAC-10 coach to win an outright conference championship in his first season, sending Oregon to the Rose Bowl, a popoluar staidum in Pasadena, Ca, for the first time since 1995. Oregon hoped to win their first Rose Bowl since 1917, but were dominated in a loss to Ohio State University. On Dec. 7, 2009, Kelly was named PAC-10 Coach of the year. Kelly continued to have success as Oregon’s head coach until he made his departure into the NFL.
After Andy Reid’s tenure at Philadelphia that led to several playoff appearances. During a trip to the Super Bowl in 2004 against the New England Patriots, the Eagles lost with a score of 21-24, and fans were eager to bring in new leadership at the head coach position.
Kelly had immediate success as head coach reversing the Eagles fortune of the previous year. Kelly went 10-6, significantly improving from the record of 4-12 and led the Eagles to a NFC Eastern Division Championship, becoming just the second head coach in league history to win a division title in his first season in the NFL. However, the Eagles season would stall out and lose in the first round of the playoffs against the New Orleans Saints.
In Kelly’s 2014 season the Eagles had an identical record from last year at 10-6, but failed to make the playoffs.
After the 2014 season, owner Jeff Lurie handed Kelly more responsibility and control of the Eagles, naming Kelly the head of football operations. Soon after, Kelly decided to trade All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy. This trade, and other decisions, received mixed reactions from Eagles fans.
Kelly’s 2015 season started off rocky and fans started to question many of Kelly’s trades and stubborn coaching strategies. On Dec. 29, 2015, with a record of 6–9 for the 2015 season, Kelly was fired by the Eagles in a statement made by Lurie. Kelly would go on to be hired as the San Francisco 49ers head coach two weeks later.
Firing Kelly led to a vacant head coach position for the Eagles. On Jan. 18, the Eagles named Doug Pederson the new head coach replacing Kelly. Pederson, who was once an NFL quarterback, spent most of his career with the Green Bay Packers as a back up to Brett Favre.
During Pederson’s professional coaching career, he was hired in January of 2009 as the offensive quality control coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. On Feb. 8, 2011, he was promoted to quarterback’s coach, replacing James Urban, who was promoted to assistant offensive coordinator. Under Pederson’s leadership in 2011, the Eagles set a franchise record with 6,386 yards.
Pederson followed Reid to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013 after the Eagles fired Reid. At Kansas City, Pederson served as the offensive coordinator up until being hired as the Eagles head coach.
During Pederson’s news introduc- tory conference in Philadelphia, Pederson stated, “Today’s game has changed offensively. You’re seeing more spread-style offenses in the National Football League. You’re seeing more of the run/pass options that the quarterbacks have at the line of scrimmage. Quarterbacks today have the ability to think with their brain and I want to tap into that, too, and put the offense into… a better play in any situation.”
Kelly’s up-tempo and no huddle offense certainly seems it will be a thing of the past. A no huddle offense limits the range of play calling ability. I think there’s a place for tempo,” Pederson said. “We love tempo. We used it in Kansas City where I just came from, and it’s a good changeup.”
Pederson plans on expanding the play calling and have more offensive plays to choose from and only use an up-tempo offense when necessary, rather than Kelly’s four straight quarters of up-tempo no huddle offense.
Kevin Harper is a fourth-year student majoring in professional studies. He can be reached at KH818254@wcupa.edu.