Photo by: Jeff Fusco.
In the days since the Eagles’ humiliating loss to the Lions on Thanksgiving, speculation and rumors have swirled about the future of Chip Kelly as the Eagles’ head coach and de facto general manager.
His name was linked to the coaching vacancy at the University of Southern California, among a number of college football coaching positions, and his job security with the Eagles was brought into question.
In the face of reports of Kelly meeting with USC officials on the Friday after Thanksgiving, which have since been shot down by Kelly himself, and reporters who are unable to confirm the meeting happened, the Trojans hired interim coach Clay Helton to be the team’s full-time coach for the next five years.
On Monday, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, who reported that USC had contact with Kelly but did not, in fact, meet with him, spoke with 97.5 The Fan’s Mike Missanelli about the situation, and what he expects the Eagles — and Kelly — to do going forward.
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Photo by: Jeff Fusco.
Chip Kelly denied reports connecting him to the now-filled head coaching job at USC.
“I’ve never spoken to anybody from USC, I’ve never emailed anybody from USC, never got a phone call from anybody from USC, never had any contact,” said Kelly, who stated that the same applies to his agent. “I’m not involved in any college jobs.
“The same thing happened a year ago with Florida. I have great respect for all those schools. I think USC just hired a coach who is a heck of coach — Clay [Helton] is going to do a great job there — but I haven’t been involved in any jobs, I haven’t discussed anything with any colleges.” Read more »
Photo by Jeff Fusco
USC interim head coach Clay Helton was given the job on a permanent basis Monday, but not before the university reportedly checked in with Chip Kelly.
According to Ian Rapoport, USC “touched base” with Kelly before making the move.
Zach Barnett of Football Scoop writes that the two sides had a sitdown. Read more »
USA TODAY Sports
A pair of former Eagles playmakers faced off on Sunday when LeSean McCoy and the Bills battled Jeremy Maclin and the Chiefs in a fight for playoff picture relevancy. Maclin and Kansas City prevailed, 30-22, on the back of an impressive outing from the wideout.
Maclin caught nine passes for 160 yards and a touchdown, propelling the Chiefs’ offense, while McCoy had 101 total yards and a receiving TD.
“[Maclin] made the Bills pay for their decision to single-cover him early in the game,” ESPN’s Adam Teicher writes. “He caught a 37-yard pass to set up Kansas City’s first touchdown and scored their second one on a 41-yard catch. He finished with nine catches and a season-high 160 yards.”
Maclin now has 57 catches for 772 yards and three touchdowns this year. He has over 140 receiving yards more than the Eagles’ leading pass-catcher, Jordan Matthews, and has already eclipsed Kansas City’s leading receiver from last year, Dwayne Bowe.
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Photo by Jeff Fusco
Hard to believe there are still five games left.
The Thanksgiving loss had such an air of finality to it, it’s almost unthinkable that nearly a third of the schedule remains. But the march indeed continues, starting with a trip to New England to face what is sure to be an angry (if injury-depleted) Patriots team.
The next month-plus will primarily be about Chip Kelly, of course, and whether he’s capable of healing a fracturing locker room and restoring faith in his program. That’s issue number one, two and three.
But how Sam Bradford finishes is no small matter, either. Read more »
Tom Coughlin and Jay Gruden. (USA Today Sports)
Although the Eagles may have ruined your Thanksgiving, they don’t play today so you can watch a full day of games stress-free. Read more »
DeMarco Murray. (Jeff Fusco)
With the extended break until the next Eagles game and the state of emergency the team has suddenly entered into, we took to Twitter to find out what questions you have. To submit your own mailbag entry, follow us on Twitter (@Birds247) or email us at any time.
Neither were good signings, but based on value, production and team need, DeMarco Murray was the worse offseason move. On the surface, Byron Maxwell’s deal looks considerably bigger because his contract could be worth up to $63 million (compared to Murray’s $40 million), but the running back has more guaranteed money per year, according to Spotrac. Maxwell, however, does have one more season on his deal. Read more »
Chip Kelly. (Jeff Fusco)
After another monumental loss, Chip Kelly and the Eagles are reeling at 4-7. There are plenty of opinions to be had on the Birds’ beleaguered head coach, and where the season went wrong. We’ve rounded up the highlights for you.
But first, a transaction note: the Eagles placed Nolan Carroll (broken ankle) on IR and signed Jaylen Watkins off the Bills practice squad. A fourth-round pick of the Eagles in 2014, Watkins was released during final cut-downs this summer. The Florida product appeared in three games for the Eagles last year and posted three tackles and a pass defensed.
Now onto the roundup.
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Jeffrey Lurie meets with Chip Kelly after every game.
That’s where he was headed when cameras caught him leaving his box early against Tampa Bay. It’s what he’s done 44 times now — 24 after a win, 20 in defeat, once in a postseason setting. Presumably, that tradition continued on Thanksgiving afternoon in the bowels of Ford Field following a second sound-the-alarm loss in the span of four days.
Hard to think of many questions that could be asked or answers given following such a set of performances that could drill down to the core. Micro issues like specific moments in the game seem like a luxury of the past at this stage. It’s all big-picture stuff now. Lurie is likely more interested to see how the head coach is carrying himself, and how the men he’s charged with leading are responding to him, now that it’s all gone to hell.
The owner’s assignment from this stage forward is to figure out why the operation collapsed on itself so suddenly, and whether Kelly has the capacity and the clout to halt the free fall and resume what at what point looked like a climb toward relevancy. Read more »
Billy Davis. (Jeff Fusco)
DETROIT, MI — Billy Davis stood in the Eagles locker room yesterday before a pool of reporters who could’ve just as easily been using their recording devices as pitchforks.
Why is your defense so bad?
How embarrassed are you?
Do you think you’ll be fired? Read more »