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Chip Kelly.

Three big mistakes that led to Chip Kelly being fired by Philadelphia Eagles

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With Chip Kelly having been shown the exit door by the Philadelphia Eagles hierarchy last night, the postmortem looking into just why the former Oregon head coach's time in Philly ended in failure has well and truly begun.

Kelly was heralded as an exciting hire when he arrived back in 2013, and his innovative style did bring some success at times in the subsequent three seasons.

Ultimately, however, there were several key elements of his regime that led to his downfall this week. Three big mistakes stand out in particular.


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1) Man management issues

Often, the key to success as a head coach is achieving the respect of the players under your charge. For Kelly, that seemed to be a constant issue throughout his 47 games as the top man in Philadelphia.

Regardless of whether accusations from the likes of LeSean McCoy and Brandon Boykin regarding Kelly's inability to connect with black players have any truth to them, there's no doubt that Kelly managed to alienate himself from several players during his tenure courtesy of some odd decisions. 

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Jettisoning DeSean Jackson, for example, after the wide receiver had had a career year in 2013 and looked a perfect fit for Kelly's system stands out as a case in point.  

The 52-year-old also axed perennial Pro Bowler Evan Mathis in the most recent offseason after the guard had spoken up about wanting a new contract. 

Jacksonville Jaguars v Philadelphia Eagles

As per CBS Sports, two current Eagles players said members of the team had held several meetings in the run-up to yesterday's decision to vent their frustration at Kelly's perplexing decisions.

And former Philly linebacker Emmanuel Acho perhaps summed the feeling of those who felt the wrath of Kelly with one Tweet:

2) Taking full control

Heading into the 2015 NFL season, there were signs of progression for Kelly and the Eagles. Despite a poor end of season run costing the team playoff football in 2014, the franchise had just completed their second 10-6 season.

Then Chip Kelly insisted on having a greater say in proceedings beyond the practice field. In hindsight, the Eagles' decision to give Kelly full control of football operations in January 2015 was perhaps the biggest mistake of the head coach's regime.

In making several key changes to the roster during the offseason, Kelly appeared to be trying to transfer his innovative coaching style to the front office. 

Opting not to resign 2014 Pro Bowl receiver Jeremy Maclin and sending Nick Foles and a second round pick to the Rams in exchange for the oft-injured Sam Bradford looked at the time to be odd decisions. Now, they are evidence of Kelly being out of his depth as a coach/GM.

You can understand his desire to stamp his authority on proceedings, but virtually every bold move he made since taking full control has proved to be a mistake.

3) Trading McCoy and replacing him with Murray

One particular sequence of events that Kelly will forever be remembered for is his decision to trade away popular running back LeSean McCoy in one of the shock moves of 2015.

Taking Kiko Alonso, a player who'd missed the entirety of the 2014 season through injury, in exchange for a player who'd racked up almost 3,000 yards for Kelly in two seasons sent shockwaves through the NFL.

The head coach tried to argue it was for financial reasons, but then he went and signed DeMarco Murray to a monster contract.

Washington Redskins v Philadelphia Eagles

Murray, as so many analysts have pointed out, never seemed like an ideal fit for the Kelly system in Philadelphia. And, having been demoted to third string RB in recent weeks, his arrival has been a huge failure thus far.

Of course, these three issues aren't the only reasons Chip Kelly has lost his job with the Eagles. For fans of the franchise, however, they do sum up just why, and where, things went wrong over the last 24 months or so.

Eagles fans: Where did it all go wrong for Chip Kelly, and who should replace him? Have your say in the comments below...

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