With Kelly out, Eagles look for their future field leader

Listen
 Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie talks to reporters during an NFL football press conference  Wednesday in Philadelphia. The Eagles fired head coach Chip Kelly with one game left in his third season. (Michael Perez/AP Photo)

Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie talks to reporters during an NFL football press conference Wednesday in Philadelphia. The Eagles fired head coach Chip Kelly with one game left in his third season. (Michael Perez/AP Photo)

The Philadelphia Eagles are looking for a new coach, and Chip Kelly is looking for a new job.

Eagles owner Jeff Lurie gave Kelly his walking papers, then announced the decision in a note posted to the team’s website Tuesday night.  

At a news conference Wednesday, Lurie said he based his decision on many factors: “Where we were heading, what is the trajectory, what is the progress or the lack thereof, and what did I anticipate for the foreseeable future, and that’s why the decision was made.”

Lurie said he cut Kelly loose a week before the season ends to benefit the team and his former coach.

“I wanted to get a jump start on our head coaching search, and I knew already what I was going to do,” Lurie said. “I thought having six extra days was important because, as you know, it’s a chaotic,  rushed schedule when you are looking for a coach.

“And for Chip, it was a good way for him to view the marketplace and see what was possible.”

Lurie said he has been talking with the players about their future coach.

He described it as being “a sponge for what leadership is like in today’s football world.

“You’re dealing with 22- to 35-age people, elite athletes trying to perform at the peak of their profession, and there’s a lot of issues,” he said. “It’s very, very difficult, more than it was 10, 15, 20 years ago.”

It’s unclear how slow or quick a turnaround will be.  Kelly traded or let go some marquee players during his tenure.  Eagles fans are, as ever, still waiting for that first Super Bowl victory.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.