Chip Kelly apparently does not buy into the Bill Parcells motto that "you are what your record says you are." If he did, he would have admitted Monday that he is the coach and the final decision maker for a bad 6-9 football team.
Actually, he would have admitted that he is the Eagles' general manager, too, even if he does not officially have the title. Kelly also probably would disagree with Parcells about the impact time of possession can have on a game even if the Hall of Fame coach showed him the box score from the New York Giants' 1991 Super Bowl victory over Buffalo.
Instead, the Eagles' coach said this about his team: "Yeah, it didn't go our way, but I don't think we're a bad football team, not by any stretch. I can point to plays and I think we're not consistent, but we need to be consistent and I don't think we've done a good enough job as coaches at putting them in position to make plays. But I don't think we need to revamp this entire group of guys because I think we have some really, really good guys here."
Kelly also said this when asked about his added responsibilities this season following the ouster of Howie Roseman as general manager: "To say I'm a head coach and a general manager, I am not the general manager. I don't negotiate contracts. I don't do any of that stuff. I just have a say of who is on the 90-man roster as opposed to the 53-man roster. But once the season starts, I have always had control of the 53-man roster, so that has not changed at all. Nor has there been any more time devoted to any of that because that's not the way it is set up here."
It's all semantics - a football branch of twisting words created by Kelly - and it doesn't really matter what we think about his unwillingness to say things the way they actually are. It does matter what Jeffrey Lurie thinks about his coach and final decision maker and, if form holds, we are finally going to get the owner's thoughts on the matter after the season finale against the Giants on Sunday at Met Life Stadium.
This time, we had better get the truth, the whole truth and nothing but. The owner embarrassed himself and Roseman after last year's meaningless season-ending win over the Giants when he lauded the work of his former general manager and assured everyone that he would remain in that role. A week later, after a stiff arm from his head coach, Lurie changed course and the future of the Eagles was thrust into Kelly's hands.
Now, the faithful followers deserve an honest evaluation of what Lurie thinks of Kelly's first season as the final decision maker and his third as the head coach. How does Lurie feel about all that money he spent on DeMarco Murray and Byron Maxwell? How does he feel about his team taking a huge step in the wrong direction?
If pictures are worth a thousand words, some of the game-day cuts to Lurie in his private box this season tell us he is one angry man, which should not be confused with the short-lived "53 Angry Men" campaign that surfaced after the team's fluky win up in New England.
Now, however, Lurie must verbalize his feelings and that has rarely gone well in the past. This, in fact, is the third coaching crisis of Lurie's tenure as the team owner. History tells us that he is loyal to a fault and sometimes as delusional as a hopeful fan.
We are only four years removed from that infamous declaration that the Dream Team's 8-8 season under Andy Reid was "unacceptable" and the "most disappointing" of his tenure as the owner. Inexplicably, he let Reid stick around for one more year that was far more unacceptable and disappointing.
If Lurie is paying close attention, and I believe he is, he will notice that Kelly's time here is starting to look a lot like that of the first head coach he hired. Both Kelly and Ray Rhodes led the Eagles to 10-6 records in their first two seasons. Rhodes went 6-9-1 in his third season, which is when a delusional Lurie surfaced. He said that only Green Bay and San Francisco were better than the Eagles in the NFC and he moved forward with Rhodes even though the coach was griping about the work of the front office. The Eagles went 3-13 in Rhodes' final season and he was such a lame duck that he started quacking before opening day.
"It's bad man," Rhodes said after the Eagles' preseason finale. "It's bad. We've got a lot of things that are very questionable right now."
Kelly's Eagles are 6-9 with one meaningless game left to play, but the man who refuses to admit he's the general manager won't even concede that he has a bad football team.
How does Lurie feel? Is this the new most unacceptable and disappointing season since he became the Eagles' owner? We will finally find out Sunday.