The day after Week 17 in the NFL is known as Black Monday because that’s when underperforming teams typically fire their coaches. The 6-9 Eagles, who visit the Giants Sunday in their season finale, aren’t waiting until Monday; they announced tonight that they have fired head coach Chip Kelly after three seasons with the team. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur will assume head coaching duties for Sunday’s game.
Team owner Jeffrey Lurie released a statement, in which he wrote “[w]e appreciate all the contributions that Chip Kelly made and wish him every success going forward.” In a separate letter, Lurie went into detail regarding his reasoning for letting Kelly go, writing “I spent the last three seasons evaluating the many factors involved in our performance as a team. As I watched this season unfold, I determined that it was time to make a change.” Lurie went on to state that he will lead the search for a new head coach, along with team president Dan Smolenski and executive VP of football operations Howie Roseman.
In his three seasons with the Eagles, Kelly went 26-21 after coming to the club with much fanfare following a successful run as head coach at the University at Oregon, where he led the team to a 46-7 record in four seasons and a Rose Bowl victory after the 2011 season. Before this season’s sub-.500 record, the Eagles were 10-6 in each of Kelly’s first two seasons as coach, winning the NFC East in 2013 before losing to the Saints in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. His tenure wasn’t without controversy, with players — notably, RB DeMarco Murray, who the team signed as a free agent in the offseason — saying they had no confidence in Kelly as their coach.