Kelly: Front-Office Shakeup Was Lurie’s Call

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Chip Kelly nonchalantly strolled up to the podium in the NovaCare auditorium Wednesday afternoon for an impromptu press conference that lasted just under 24 minutes.

Brandon Graham was originally scheduled to take the mic, but instead Kelly made a surprise appearance and answered questions about the Eagles’ front-office shakeup, his roster decisions and the Sam Bradford trade.

The offseason got off to an explosive start in January when Jeffrey Lurie announced that Kelly would have final say on personnel decisions, while Howie Roseman would move back to the cap/contract side.

Asked about the shakeup, Kelly maintained a straight face and said that he had nothing to do with the decision, pinning the move instead on Lurie.

“I didn’t think I needed control of personnel,” Kelly said. “That was a decision that our owner made. So I just had a meeting with him like I do at the end of every year in terms of the direction of what we’re doing and how do we go from being a 10-6 team to a team that can win the Super Bowl. And that was a decision that Jeffrey made.”

The way Kelly told it, it was almost as if Lurie had to twist his arm and beg him to take over personnel control.

“I feel like we’ve got an understanding, a vision of what we want for football players here, and I think we can articulate that,” he said. “And I think that’s what we’re trying to go out and get.

“I’d be perfectly fine with whatever Mr. Lurie says. He owns the team, and he runs this organization.”

Surely he must have at least provided some feedback though, right?

“I didn’t make any suggestions,” Kelly said. “I just talked about the vision of this thing, and then he came back to me with what he wanted to do and how he wanted to run this. …It’s Mr. Lurie’s decision on how things are run here.”

The main difference now, Kelly said, is that he has final say on all personnel decisions. It sure seemed like that was mostly the case the past two offseasons (see: Josh Huff and Taylor Hart). But Kelly said Roseman was in charge of the past two drafts.

Asked specifically about the Marcus Smith II pick, he said: “I didn’t have final say in the last two years. Who made the decision? Howie had final say on that decision.”

As for his personal relationship with Roseman, Kelly added: “There’s a lot of things out there that people talk about all the time that aren’t true, but if I had to stand up here every single time that something was said… I get along great with Howie. We have a great working relationship just like I do with everybody else in this building.”

Asked who he’s accountable to in the new setup, Kelly said: “My accountability is to Jeffrey Lurie.”