Eagles Fire Chip Kelly

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

The Eagles announced Tuesday that they have released head coach Chip Kelly. 

“We appreciate the contributions that Chip Kelly made and wish him every success going forward,” said Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie.

Pat Shurmur will be interim head coach for Sunday’s finale against the Giants.

Ed Marynowitz was also released. Tom Donahoe, former General Manager of the Buffalo Bills and Director of Football Operations for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Senior Football Advisor for the Eagles since 2012, will assume the role of Senior Director of Player Personnel.

A press conference with Lurie will be held Wednesday in the NovaCare Complex auditorium.

Lurie penned the following message:

I have made a decision to release Chip Kelly this evening. I spent the last three seasons evaluating the many factors involved in our performance as a team. As I watched this season unfold, I determined that it was time to make a change.

As we move forward, the search for a new head coach will begin and will be led by myself, Don Smolenski and Howie Roseman. To the extent that we are able, we will try to keep you informed as we go through this process.

Pat Shurmur will be our interim coach for the Giants game Sunday.

We have also released Ed Marynowitz, vice president of player personnel. Tom Donahoe, who has been our senior football advisor since 2012, will assume the role of senior director of player personnel.

I am determined and excited to select a new coach to help us obtain our ultimate goal.

Thank you for your consistent and enthusiastic support. It is always appreciated.

Jeffrey Lurie
Chairman and CEO

Kelly posted a record of 26-21 in his three seasons in Philadelphia.

After a successful first year that saw the Eagles go from 4-12 to 10-6 en route to an NFC East title, momentum started swinging the other way. The potent, high-paced offensive attack that finished 2012 No. 2 in the NFL fell of some in Year 2, though Kelly’s club finished with an identical 10-6 mark thanks in large part to excellent special teams play.

This season, with many of the stars shipped out and opposing defenses now up to speed on an offense that became somewhat predictable, the Eagles averaged just 22.8 points per game — down from 27.6 in 2013. Meanwhile, the tempo continued to have an adverse effect on a defense that faced the most snaps (71 per game on average) and was on the field longer than any other team in the NFL.

This offseason, Kelly made a play for — and was granted — total control of personnel.

“Just as a philosophical thing, as an owner, you got to make a decision. Do you want to be bold in choice of coach? Do you want to just hire somebody that is not a bold choice? Do you want to hire someone you really respect their intelligence, their work ethic and all that. And do you want to support them fully?” said Lurie at the owners meetings.

“That doesn’t mean blindly. That means give them the most resources possible. Be sound about your future salary cap management so you’re never sacrificing the future for any short term decisions. And do you want to basically say to the world and to your fans, ‘I support Chip Kelly. I support what he’s all about and give him the best chance to succeed.’ You can always look back on it as the best chance to succeed. I hope it takes it really far.”

The move backfired, as Kelly removed key pieces to the team, including LeSean McCoy and Evan Mathis, and brought in some high-priced free agents (DeMarco Murray, Byron Maxwell, etc.) that did not live up to expectations.

Howie Roseman, who was pushed out of the personnel side but retained by Lurie, is expected to be moved back into a prominent role overseeing the construction of this team.