If we take Chip Kelly at his word, the front-office makeover that took place shortly after the end of the Eagles season was nothing more than a whim of owner Jeffrey Lurie's desire. There were no threats of departure if general manager Howie Roseman remained in charge of personnel decisions. There was nary a nudge from the head coach to his boss.
"I didn't think I needed control of the personnel," Kelly said Wednesday in his first public comments since taking control of personnel decisions. "That was a decision that our owner made. I just had a meeting with him like I do at the end of every year in terms of the direction of what we were doing and how do we go from being a 10-6 team to a team that can win the Super Bowl. That was the decision Jeffrey made."
Forget the fact that at the time of the shake-up, Lurie said in a statement that this was all Kelly's idea.
"It's most important," the owner said, "that we find players that match what our coaches are seeking."
If that is what Kelly wanted, that is what he got, and that's fine. This is now his Shangri-La.
"I feel like we have a vision of what we want for football players here and I think we can articulate that, and I think that is what we are trying to go out and get," the coach said.
That we can believe. If Kelly the general manager cannot do what Kelly the coach wants, then the man probably has a multiple personality disorder. We don't think that's the case. Kelly knows exactly what he wants and, even as the rest of watch in confused disbelief, he is in the process of getting it.
It is disingenuous, however, to act as if no one was hurt during the course of this power struggle, which is what Kelly did Wednesday.
"We've just expanded people's roles," the coach said.
I'd love to talk to Tom Gamble about his expanded role from being player personnel director to being fired. Fortunately for Gamble, he landed on his feet, returning to the San Francisco 49ers as a senior personnel executive. Kelly did not like Gamble's dismissal.
"I liked Tom," Kelly said. "I think Tom does an unbelievable job and is a great football guy. But I didn't have anything to do with it, so I couldn't make any impact on that decision."
Asked if he could have brought Gamble back once Lurie expanded the coach's role, Kelly played a hilarious game of dodge ball.
"No, I'm not in charge of hiring the personnel people," he said. "I've got, we've got Ed [Marynowitz] in place and Ed is running the personnel department and Ed will hire and fire."
Yeah, but didn't the coach hire Marynowitz to be the vice president of player personnel?
"I hired Ed," Kelly confessed.
I would also love to talk to Roseman about his expanded role. I suspect his salary expanded by $200,000 and he received a contract extension so he wouldn't talk about it. Kelly said that he is still working side by side with Roseman and that they "get along great."
"He has done an unbelievable job with the [salary] cap," Kelly said. "We have a great working relationship, just like I do with everyone else in this building."
Kelly said Roseman would be in the draft room when the Eagles make their selections next month, but he also made a couple of things clear about past drafts and the next one.
"I didn't have final say in the last two years," the coach said.
He does now and he insists he has no plans to mortgage the franchise's future just so he can plug the University of Oregon's Marcus Mariota into his system.
"Let's dispel that right now," he said. "I think that stuff is crazy. You guys have been going with that stuff all along. I think Marcus is the best quarterback in the draft. We will never mortgage our future to go all the way up to go get somebody like that because we have too many other holes that we're going to take care of."
Left unspoken was Kelly's definition of mortgaging the future. If he thinks he can fill enough needs before this draft, then maybe he does not believe he will be mortgaging the future by surrendering some future No. 1 picks.
If we take Kelly at his word, then Sam Bradford is going to be the Eagles quarterback when the 2015 season opens and everyone should be excited about it. The coach said he has already been offered a first-round pick for his new quarterback.
There is one absolute truth about the Eagles now: Kelly is in charge of football operations.
No need to be confused about that.
"The pieces are fitting together in the puzzle, right?" the coach said as he stepped down from the auditorium stage at the NovaCare Complex.
If you say so, Chip. If you say so.