With the Philadelphia Eagles having regressed badly this season, Chip Kelly's position as head coach of the NFC East franchise was always going to be under scrutiny at the end of the 2015 campaign.
Even so, yesterday's announcement that the Eagles had fired Kelly came somewhat out of the blue, with the traditional Black Monday still a few days away.
Speaking today, however, Philadelphia owner Jeffrey Lurie explained just why he had pulled the trigger on Kelly's regime before the regular-season was even complete - citing three main reasons in the process.
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As reported by Eagles beat writer Jimmy Kempski, Lurie's motivation for the pre-Week 17 firing was threefold:
With two teams, specifically Tennessee and Miami, already on the hunt for a new head coach, and several others potentially joining them after the last week of regular-season action, Lurie is perhaps right to get one step ahead of his rivals ahead of what is sure to be a hectic 2015 offseason.
Kelly, too, is probably grateful to have six extra days to assess his options as, after what has been a disastrous season, he was probably expecting the axe regardless. He now has extra time to put his house in order before the calls, from the NFL or college, begin.
Lurie, however, noted that the third reason was the most important when it came to firing Kelly on Monday.
"I had a players only meeting with them today, this morning. There's going to be more this afternoon with certain players. I'm going to meet again with them on Monday," explained Philly's owner.
"That was the defining decision in terms of when you make a decision on the Monday after the last regular-season game or a playoff loss or something like that, the players go for some physicals and disperse.
"They're anxious to go home. In today's world, especially at least the way I like to run things, I want to hear from the players."
Eagles fans: Who do you want to see replace Kelly? Have your say in the comments below...