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September 02, 2015

Washington Post: Chip Kelly is on the 'hot seat'

Eagles NFL
090215ChipKelly Matt Rourke/AP

Not pictured: Chip Kelly's seat, which was literally dipped in molten lava from the most blazing depths of hell.

Lol. Really? According to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly is one of seven coaches on the metaphorical "hot seat" this season alongside Jay Gruden (Redskins), Joe Philbin (Dolphins), Jeff Fisher (Rams), Marvin Lewis (Bengals), Tom Coughlin (Giants), and Jim Tomsula (49ers).

Maske's reasoning on Kelly:

Chip Kelly, Eagles: It’s all about Kelly this season in Philadelphia. He probably would have it no other way.
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie made Kelly the winner in the coach’s power struggle with Howie Roseman, who lost the general manager title but remained in the team’s front office.
Kelly put his new power to use with an offseason roster overhaul in which he parted with tailback LeSean McCoy, quarterback Nick Foles and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin while adding quarterback Sam Bradford and running back DeMarco Murray. Kelly has stocked his roster with his former Oregon players and ignored the prevailing league-wide sentiment about Tim Tebow as an NFL passer by bringing in the quarterback to vie for a spot on the team.
Kelly has won so far and this is not to say there is any immediate danger that Lurie would fire him if things don’t go well this season. But Kelly clearly has put his reputation on the line and there will be no one else to share the credit or the blame for the Eagles’ 2015 fortunes.


• Maske acknowledges that "Kelly has won so far and this is not to say there is any immediate danger that Lurie would fire him if things don’t go well this season." However, I think it would be more accurately stated that a head coach who JUST received full control of the team this offseason from his owner has more job security than the majority of the head coaches around the league. If a coach is not in much danger of being fired even if the season goes badly, his seat is firmly set to "ass massage."

• Kelly did not "part with" Jeremy Maclin. Maclin was an unrestricted free agent, and was free to sign with whatever team he chose. The Eagles wanted him back, but when the Chiefs offered Maclin an absurd amount of money, the Eagles were wise not to try to match it.

• While LeSean McCoy was certainly a great back in Philly for years, they traded him for a potential stud ILB who just turned 25 and has a salary cap hit that is less than 10% of what McCoy's was. Meanwhile, Foles wasn't good in 2014 by any measure, and did not look like a "franchise quarterback." 

• Kelly's roster overhaul included some big names, but the reality is that personnel changes are normal when teams hire new a head coach. Of the eight teams to hire a new head coach during the 2013 offseason, by my count only one has more players remaining from their 2012 roster than the Eagles.

• Yes, Kelly has loaded up on Oregon players. However, a lot of them are gone. The #DuckCount is down to seven, when it was formerly into double-digits. Of the seven, two were acquired this offseason -- Walter Thurmond and Kiko Alonso. Thurmond has two interceptions this preseason (including a pick six), and all throughout camp has looked very good at safety. He was an under-the-radar signing who has earned a starting job. Alonso, meanwhile, was of course the younger, cheaper player the Eagles acquired in the McCoy trade. As a rookie in 2013, Alonso had 159 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, and four picks.

• Tim Tebow? Really? Tim Tebow? One of the reasons Chip Kelly is on the hot seat is because the Eagles signed a guy who is going to rank somewhere in the bottom 10 players on the roster in terms of importance to the team, if he even makes it? Really?!?

Chip Kelly is always going to receive a high level of scrutiny because of his unorthodox style, win or lose. But to say he's on the "hot seat" for the reasons noted above is laughable.

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski