The Philadelphia Eagles have released head coach Chip Kelly after two-plus seasons, the team announced on Tuesday night.
Coach Pat Shurmur will serve as interim head coach on Sunday when the team plays the New York Giants.
“I have made a decision to release Chip Kelly this evening,” team chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said in a letter posted to the team’s website. “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.”
Lurie said that president Don Smolenski and executive vide president Howie Roseman will help lead the search for a new head coach.
A press conference is scheduled for Wednesday at Noon.
ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio reported on Tuesday that Lurie’s original plan was to take away Kelly’s power to control personnel, and the firing came after Kelly refused to part ways with his increased role.
According to Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ Advance Media, the Eagles neglected to tell their players that they had relieved Kelly of his duties.
Kelly was given control over personnel decisions before the start of the season, and was responsible for acquiring quarterback Sam Bradford from the Rams for a second-round pick, trading running back LeSean McCoy to the Bills and signing free agent tailback DeMarco Murray.
What resulted was just the Eagles’ second losing season since 2005. The team began 4–4, in position to make a run at the weak NFC East division title, and went on to lose five of their next seven games to bring their record to 6–9.
Murray’s role in the offense was limited under Kelly; he went from 392 carries with the Cowboys in 2014 to just 181 through 14 games in 2015. His yards-per-carry average is a career-worst 3.5.
Bradford, who has undergone two shoulder surgeries and injured his ACL twice in the past five years, unsurprisingly missed time during the season due to various ailments, and passed for 14 touchdowns with 11 interceptions in 11 games.
Kelly was also responsible for the release of wide receiver DeSean Jackson in 2014, one year after he was selected to his third Pro Bowl.
Linebacker Emmanuel Acho, who spent time with the Eagles from 2013–15, posted the following message on Twitter after the firing was announced:
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely"— Emmanuel Acho (@thEMANacho) December 30, 2015
The team also announced they have released vice president of player personnel Ed Marynowitz.
- Kenny Ducey