IT'S A FALLACY that Chip Kelly has never apologized for anything. Still, he's rarely been as upfront and definitive about handling something wrong as he was Thursday in discussing the messy way running back LeSean McCoy was banished from Philadelphia.
With the Buffalo Bills coming to Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, McCoy again let it be known that he has no particular fondness for Kelly - the man who shipped him to the NFL's version of Siberia.
Kelly said he did not blame McCoy for being upset and conceded that the way he handled notifying his former diva-back that he had been swapped for linebacker Kiko Alonso likely played a big role in making a bad situation worse.
"How (McCoy) was traded wasn't handled right," Kelly said of his first major move after getting full control of player personnel. "I've said that before.
"I did not get an opportunity to talk to (McCoy before the trade was announced) and it's a lesson that we should never do."
While Kelly rehashed how the Eagles believed that the trade of McCoy would not be "initiated" until the next day, he did not use that as an excuse.
The coach who has gained a reputation to some as not having much emotional investment in his players seemed genuinely disappointing in himself that McCoy found out the way everybody else did - a breaking news announcement.
Kelly isn't one to feign emotion. In fact, while he may not have the sourpuss facial expression of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, he is prone to the same cold, analytical approach when discussing football matters - including the human elements of the game.
But in discussing the way the McCoy trade went down, there was a definite sense of regret in voice and his expressions.
"My understanding was the trade would not be initiated until the next morning so there was no phone call to be made (to McCoy)," Kelly said, "and then all of a sudden, I'm driving to an event and hear he's been traded.
"I felt bad that I did not get to talk to (McCoy.) I called him and he didn't answer my phone call. I know he was (hissed off) and he should be (hissed) or rightly so."
Everyone knows that being traded or getting cut is simply part of the business of the National Football League, but to Kelly, there is still a proper protocol to doing those types of unsavory things.
He knows that did not happen in the case of McCoy, and he takes responsibility for that.
"Every player that's ever left this team I've talked to them personally myself," Kelly said. "Everyone that is in town we talk to them individually here in our office. I talk to them, the coordinator talks to them, the position coach.
"We have a way that we do it that I think is the right way to do it, and it wasn't exercised in (the case of McCoy.)"
It's not that Kelly regrets trading McCoy. He insisted again it was because of high salary-cap money. He just wishes the process of informing had been handled better.
Whether it happened by chance, circumstance, accident or all three, McCoy, who played six years for the Eagles and two for Kelly, deserved better than to find out via a news announcement.
"He is this team's all-time leading running back here and he felt like he was disrespected," Kelly said of McCoy. "It was wrong and because I was part of it, it's on me."
Not that Kelly's mea culpa will lighten McCoy's anger. He said on Wednesday that while he is not enemies with Kelly, he would not shake the coach's hand if offered to him.
Kelly said that's "OK" but he would shake McCoy's if the opportunity arose.
Honestly, I don't expect either to search the other out on Sunday, so it's a moot point.
What isn't moot, however, is how McCoy's actions toward Kelly after the trade helped expand the narrative of Kelly being non-player friendly.
Kelly has not been one to go into damage-control mode and always brushes off criticism by mentioning the person is entitled to their opinion.
Still, Kelly didn't simply dismiss the McCoy trade because he knows things did not go right, and he wanted it to be known that is not how the Eagles typically operate.
"When we traded for (quarterback Sam Bradford) and (former quarterback Nick Foles) with (St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher), it was a great situation," Kelly said. "Jeff and I were on the phone together and said, 'All right, when are you going to make the call?'
"Let's call now. We got off the phone and we each called our player. He texted me when he was done. I texted him when I was done
"I then called Sam and (Fisher) then called Nick. That's the way it should have been done. It wasn't handled that way with LeSean. I understand why he would not be happy about that and he shouldn't be happy about that. "I would apologize for that because it didn't happen the right way."