Lurie shows less patience with Chip
Former Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick signs with the Atlanta Braves

Lurie makes good decision, but leaves Eagles in bad shape

The more the Eagles season shifted toward mediocrity during the 2015 season, the more Jeffrey Lurie knew he didn't have much of a choice. Less than one year after handing over the reigns of player personnel and decisions to Chip Kelly, the head coach hired to bring an innovative system and lead the Eagles into a new era was gone.

On the forefront, you admire what Lurie did. Faced with a difficult, but necessary decision, Lurie stayed firm. He made a decision that was going to resonate with fans in a positive light, that would make them feel like their voices were heard.

But beneath the surface of the Kelly firing is the admission of a mistake, a risk that didn't pan out, and an earlier decision that has left the team in a state of disarray.

As Lurie admitted a risk being taken in hiring Chip Kelly and another in unleashing the power to him as a way of maximizing him and his visions, he too takes responsibility for a franchise that will have to clean up a huge mess.

The writing was on the wall for Kelly all along. Lurie gave Kelly the power knowing he could hold him accountable for what happened on the field. The Eagles went from 10-6 and a playoff team to a 6-9 team embarking on an early offseason for the second straight season.

Ownership is an oft-criticized role in Philadelphia sports. It is long-standing philosophies and continual flawed decisions that are the usual cause of continual struggles to reach the top of the team's respected sport.

Decisions like this one aren't usually made based on fan reaction. But you have to believe that losing four games in embarrassing fashion, and watching a stadium empty rapidly in blowout losses to Tampa Bay, Arizona and Washington played a factor.

That's the good in Lurie's decision. A change was necessary, and instead of waiting to pull the trigger, he made the bold move to remove Chip Kelly.

But the move also comes three years after Kelly had the chance to construct the team in his way. That's after a team, perfectly equipped with DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Nick Foles, among others, now featured a disgruntled DeMarco Murray, a question-mark at quarterback, an offense in shambles and a defense that still needs refining.

The new head coach, along with Howie Roseman and Tom Donahoe, will have a lot of work to do before this team becomes a playoff team again.

And that's the ultimate mistake. 

For a franchise that has bounced between levels of being a good team, great team and mediocre team, the same structure and same system will be responsible for hiring the on-field successor and making personnel decisions. It certainly sounds like a recipe for disaster.

We'll look back on this era of Eagles football as, really, three lost seasons. But there could be more to come, considering how much more it will take to return this franchise to the state it was in even before Chip Kelly came aboard.

But the first steps back to that were taken. Lurie took some control back by reassigning it again to the people he has kept a close eye on in the past, which means a long road ahead for the Eagles and Lurie.

So Kelly went from being the savior, the Messiah of Philadelphia football and turned out to be just another stepping stone on the way to finding that guy. 

The road to the Promised Land is a long one. And on Tuesday night, in doing the right thing, it got a little bit longer for Lurie.

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.


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