Schefter: ‘Signs Seem To Be Piling Up Against A Chip Return’

Could Kelly be on his way out?

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Is Chip Kelly on his way out? According to Adam Schefter, it’s a situation worth monitoring.

Appearing on Sirius XM, ESPN’s distinguished NFL reporter offered the following thoughts on Kelly:

“I’ll say this Pat: I think the momentum and signs seem to be piling up against a Chip return to Philadelphia. I think both sides are sick of each other. I think the fans are tired of him, I think he’s tired of the situation there. Just my read from afar. That stadium began emptying early in the fourth quarter; it was an ugly scene.

“You know, they are still in the thick of that division race, let’s not forget that. And if they go into Detroit on Thanksgiving Day and win, we’ll have a different conversation next week. But I just think that Chip Kelly, if given a choice, might be comfortable elsewhere. And we’ll see if that shakes out. I certainly would include him in my question marks of coaches that we’ll be tracking in January. I think we can say that. I don’t doubt what your friend is saying about Chip Kelly being a goner or however you want to categorize it, whatever he said to you, but I think that bears watching.”

Here’s the audio:

Quick thoughts:

Schefter is the most plugged-in reporter in the business. I don’t think he makes the above comments unless he’s hearing some sort of buzz.

That said, if he was far along enough in his reporting where he was prepared to relay something meaningful, he would do it on ESPN, not during a guest appearance for a station that he is not affiliated with.

As he said, this is a situation “that bears watching.” The season has gone into a tailspin, the relationship between the head coach and the city is rocky and it’s to be seen whether this team is willing and able to help fight him out of the corner.

There’s no question Kelly dislikes dealing with the media here, and I’m sure he’s not feeling particularly overjoyed at the moment. Maybe he’s decided this gig isn’t for him; maybe he’s welcoming the challenge and is determined to steer this franchise into calmer waters. I won’t pretend to know what he’s thinking.

We do know that Jeffrey Lurie has invested heavily in Kelly. He handed him personnel control this past offseason, allowing the new-to-the-NFL head coach to tear down the roster and reconfigure the scouting  process and staff in hopes that a fully-supported Kelly would raise the Eagles into the level of the elite. With the wrecking ball already in the gut of the building, does a 4-6 start — as ugly as it’s been — convince the owner to scrap that plan and start over? Seems early to make another drastic move, even if some serious questions have been raised in recent weeks.

As for Kelly, he has a level of control that took Bill Belichick some 30 years in the pros to obtain. Kelly’s been at it since 2013. Is he so unhappy with his surroundings that he’d give it all up so quickly?

We’ll continue to dig for answers.

Schefter is expected to expand on his thoughts on 97.5 The Fanatic Wednesday morning at 7:35.