Eagles coach Kelly takes bigger role after front-office shakeup
Before winning his first playoff game, Chip Kelly won a power struggle.
Kelly got control of the Philadelphia Eagles’ player personnel department on Friday after Howie Roseman was promoted from general manager to executive vice president of football operations.
The shake-up ends speculation about Kelly’s future in Philadelphia following a turbulent week that included the dismissal of vice president of player personnel Tom Gamble on Wednesday.
"It’s most important that we find players that match what our coaches are seeking," owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement. "This is part of an all-encompassing vision that takes you from the scouting process all the way to on-field performance. Howie, Chip and (president) Don (Smolenski) are all united in their desire to win. Together, we decided this approach was the best course of action for the Philadelphia Eagles."
Kelly has led the Eagles to consecutive 10-6 seasons. He already had final say on the 53-man roster. Now he’ll hire a new personnel executive who will answer directly to him.
"I am very confident about where we are headed as a team and as an organization," Kelly said. "I look forward to continue working with Jeffrey and Howie as well as the personnel department. This is not a one-man operation. It will truly take a team effort to acquire and develop the best football players and then put the best team on the field each week. It will take all of us working together."
The 39-year-old Roseman had been the youngest GM in the NFL and held the position for five seasons. He began his career with the Eagles as an unpaid intern in 2000.
"My No. 1 goal is to help bring a championship to this city and that will never change," Roseman said. "I believe this will solidify the trust we have all placed in Coach Kelly."
The Eagles won the NFC East in 2013, a year after finishing 4-12 under Andy Reid. They lost a playoff game at home to New Orleans. This year, they became only the third team since 1990 to miss the playoffs after a 9-3 start.
Lurie said after the season finale last Sunday that Roseman would return as GM. That was before Gamble was let go and reports of a rift between Roseman and Kelly began circulating.
"After carefully listening and reflecting on the lengthy discussions that I had with our senior team, I changed my mind (about Roseman staying as GM)," Lurie said. "I have a very good relationship with Chip that continues to grow stronger and stronger. When we spoke, he was thoughtful, thorough and professional. There were no demands, no threats; quite the contrary, he was passionate, engaged and articulated a dynamic and clear vision on how this fully integrated approach will work. We look forward to seeing it come to life over time."
When Kelly left Oregon to join the Eagles two years ago, he made it clear he wasn’t interested in total control.
"I’ve heard questions that I want control over this, control over that," Kelly said on Jan. 17, 2013. "That has never been an issue, never is an issue for me. I’m a football coach. I’m not a general manager. I’m not a salary-cap guy. I coach football. I need people who can go out there and say, `Hey this is what you want. These are the people.’ And it’s going to be a collaboration. We’re all going to be on the same page. I’ve got no delusions of saying that I want all these different titles. I just want to coach football."