Chip Kelly on Eagles firing: ‘Not something we saw coming’

Wednesday March 23rd, 2016

Get breaking news and SI’s biggest stories instantly. Download the new Sports Illustrated app (iOS or Android) and personalize your experience by following your favorite teams and SI writers.

San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly spoke with the media about being fired by the Philadelphia Eagles for the first time on Tuesday, saying that he was caught off guard by the move.

“I was surprised,” Kelly said via “We had spent the whole day game planning and at practice. Not something we saw coming.”

Kelly was let go by the Eagles on Dec. 29, just a week before the end of the regular season. The team then hired Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson to replace Kelly.

NFL approves ejection after two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties

Now in what he sees as a more stable situation in San Francisco, Kelly also spoke about conflict that he had with the Eagles front office while he was there.

He said that he was not happy when vice president of player personnel Tom Gamble was fired before the 2015 season and that it was owner Jeffrey Lurie’s idea to give him control of player personnel. 

“I didn’t like the direction it was heading,” Kelly said. “I didn’t think we were on the same page.”

Kelly is not in control of player personnel in San Francisco and has praised the 49ers front office so far. 

Sean Payton agrees to five-year contract extension with Saints

“Whenever you are working with anybody, (trust) is a huge component in terms of how things work on a daily basis,” Kelly said of general manager Trent Baalke. “He has a proven track record. It isn’t trust without evidence. There is a ton of evidence of him being able to put together a really good football team.”

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.