Chip Kelly has taken a beating this offseason. Seemingly every player he has cut, waived, traded or otherwise booted from the roster has made disparaging remarks about Kelly, saying the Eagles head coach has a hard time connecting with players and implying – or flat-out saying – that he is racist.
How is Kelly handling all these accusations?
“Well, he’s handling them probably better than you or I or almost anyone else would have,” WIP Philadelphia analyst Joe Giglio said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “He seems very unaffected by it all. The first question of camp was about all this kind of stuff and (Brandon) Boykin’s comments. Chip Kelly seems pretty unaffected by it. He keeps saying he’s not going to be affected by what people say and he’s going to go about doing what he’s doing. Maybe he’s just putting on a front, but he does seem as if the comments don’t bother him nearly as much as you would think. If most people were accused of these things, they would stand up screaming and yelling and saying, ‘No way. How could you say that? Give examples.’ Chip Kelly chooses not to do that. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing for him or a bad thing for him.”
Most Eagles fans are putting little to no stock in these claims. Some, however, are.
“I think it’s probably a layered thing,” Giglio said. “On the surface, you look at each of these moves individually and the claims probably seem a little silly. (LeSean) McCoy, he’s a guy that was clearly disgruntled, clearly upset he’s not part of the Eagles anymore. Tra Thomas, (the) former player who was (a) coaching intern with the Eagles . . . was also upset he wasn’t brought back in a full-time role. The same thing with Boykin. But Boykin, he’s a little bit more measured. That one came out of really nowhere. And to be honest, I think every time this discussion comes up, fans either say, ‘It’s crazy, it’s nuts, they’re disgruntled,’ or they’ll bring up the fact that Riley Cooper . . . (was) kept on the football team. I think that’s the elephant in the room. Odds are (Kelly is) not a racist. Odds are he’s not being governed by race when he makes these moves. But then the Cooper thing comes up, and I’m not sure fans know how to handle it really.”
But is that fair to Kelly?
“I think the fact that we bring the Cooper thing up still is fair,” Giglio said. “Although these moves are individual and not every one is related to the other one, if I had told you a couple years ago that Riley Cooper would outlast DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy and (all these other players), you would have said, ‘That’s laughable.’ I don’t believe Chip Kelly is making these moves based on race. I don’t know him personally, but in terms of the moves of the football team, that doesn’t seem like it makes any sense because he has brought in plenty of star African American players as well, including DeMarco Murray, who won Offensive Player of the Year last year. It’s almost like you look at it one way and you kind of raise your eye brow. You look at it another way and you say it’s silly. That’s kind of where the city is at right now – and unfortunately, Chip Kelly is right in the middle of all of it.”