Weekend Reading: Boykin Sounds Off On Kelly

Chip Kelly and Brandon Boykin. (USA Today Sports)

Ahead of Sunday’s season finale, we put together a collection of good Eagles-related weekend reads.

From Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Brandon Boykin held no punches in his assessment of former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly.

When asked to compare Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and former Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly, cornerback Brandon Boykin said, “Tomlin treats players like professionals and grown men.” Boykin added that Kelly didn’t respect many of the Eagles, and he wasn’t surprised by his former coach’s dismissal with one game left in the season Tuesday.

“I think the players realized that a long time ago,” he said. “Now the world knows. You can’t trick players or pretend to be someone you’re not if the results aren’t there. The guys who were man enough to make a difference and do something about it were axed or (Kelly) acted like there were sour grapes or whatever.

“We were telling the truth, and people see that now. We are grown men, and he overlooked that aspect of it. He acted like he was better and smarter than people at his level, and that’s where the respect was lost.”

MMQB’s Robert Klemko breaks down the Top 10 head coaching candidates before Black Monday strikes and breaks the head coach hiring race wide open.

1. Hue Jackson. This summer we called him a “wild card,” and a guy who has “built a marketing machine around his candidacy.” Jackson called me on that last part (he reads everything).

Five months later, and the Bengals have the fourth-best scoring offense in the NFL, led by vastly improved quarterback Andy Dalton. To boot, the Bengals split two games after Dalton got hurt.

“You know why [Jackson will] be the top candidate?” one source told us. “Look at what he just did with AJ —-ing McCarron.”

Jenny Vrentas of MMQB goes long on Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase, who many expect to be a candidate for the Eagles’ coaching vacancy in the coming weeks.

Let’s talk about Gase’s work with [Jay] Cutler. Gase called Cutler in early January, before he interviewed for the Bears head coach opening, to make sure that Cutler would be comfortable working with him if he got the job. The two men had some history: In 2006, when Cutler was entering the draft out of Vanderbilt, the Lions didn’t have a quarterbacks coach and so Gase was the offensive quality-control coach assigned to vet Cutler.

The Lions ended up drafting linebacker Ernie Sims with the No. 9 pick. But they had considered taking a quarterback to develop behind Jon Kitna, and Gase really liked Cutler (who went to Denver with the 11th pick).

Three years later, Gase was hired by the Broncos to be their receivers coach, and in the spring of 2009, before Cutler was traded to Chicago, the quarterback would stop in Gase’s office daily after meeting with head coach Josh McDaniels. They’d often spend an hour chatting, about on and off-the-field topics.

ESPN’s Phil Sheridan writes that Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman had better glean a good lesson from their hiring of Chip Kelly.

It is a fair point: The same search team that resulted in the Philadelphia Eagles hiring Chip Kelly is now going to interview candidates for Kelly’s replacement. So how can anyone expect better results?

There is another way to look at it, though. The men who hired Kelly – Eagles owner Jeff Lurie, president Don Smolenski and general manager/vice president of football operations Howie Roseman – might be exactly the right people to get the process right this time. They learned firsthand the dangers of being seduced by the flashiest candidate.