Chip Kelly didn't think he needed personnel control, Kelly said Wednesday during a surprise news conference at NovaCare. The demotion of general manager Howie Roseman was all team chairman Jeffrey Lurie's idea.
This seems especially stunning given that it was Lurie, in the locker room after the season finale against the Giants, who ridiculed the idea that Roseman might not continue as GM.
"I just had a meeting with him like I do at the end of every year, in terms of the direction of what we're doing and how we go from being a 10-6 team to a team that can win the Super Bowl. That was a decision that Jeffrey made," Kelly said.
Neither Lurie nor Roseman has spoken with reporters since Kelly gained full personnel control Jan. 2.
"It better be" a better setup, Kelly said, "or we made the wrong decision."
Kelly said he had no input into the decision to move Roseman's office away from the rest of the football decision-makers. He said he and Roseman have a good relationship -- something other sources have disputed -- but he made it clear that Roseman had final say in last year's draft. The Eagles' first-round choice, Marcus Smith, was widely panned.
"I didn't make any suggestions" to Lurie, Kelly said. "I just talked about the vision of what this thing is, and he came back to me with what he wanted to do and how he wanted to run it."
Kelly said he has no plans to trade up in the draft for Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota,
"Let's dispel that right now," Kelly said. "I think that stuff's crazy. You guys have been going with that stuff so long -- I think Marcus is the best quarterback in the draft, We will never mortgage our future to go all the way up to get somebody like that, because we have too many other problems to take care of."
Of course, Kelly didn't say he wouldn't draft or trade to draft Mariota if he slid substantially, but that seems pretty unlikely.
Kelly strongly endorsed Sam Bradford as the Eagles' QB going forward. He said he'd been offered a first-round pick for Bradford Wednesday morning, but added that he didn't acquire the former Heisman Trophy winner as something to leverage.
"I didn't bring Sam here to be a chip. I'm the only Chip," Kelly said.
He said he is confident in Bradford's twice-repaired left ACL. "We'll see" if Bradford becomes the longtime starter, Kelly said. He praised the former offensive rookie of the year's "great upside."
"if he never tore his ACL. he'd never be traded," Kelly said. "There's a lot of injuries in this game."
Kelly said he tried to get in touch with LeSean McCoy last week, when news leaked of the pending trade with Buffalo for linebacker Kiko Alonso. Kelly said he got McCoy's voicemail, and that he wasn't happy with the Bills for making the move public before he got a chance to talk to the franchise's all-time leading rusher. McCoy, in his introductory Buffalo press conference Tuesday, said he learned he'd been traded when he woke up from a nap and saw texts from friends.
Kelly said he and wideout Jeremy Maclin talked all weekend, and he definitely wanted Maclin back, but "couldn't go as high" as the Chiefs, who signed Maclin to a reported five-year, $55 million deal, with $22.5 million guaranteed.
Kelly said the team will move forward with middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans, even given the acquisition of Alonso. Ryans is rehabbing a torn ACL and has $6.9 million cap number this year.