Has Chip Kelly Lost the Philadelphia Eagles’ Locker Room?
The Riley Cooper story is another crack in an already fragile preseason for the Philadelphia Eagles. We’ve seen a quarterback battle, injuries, the referees saying they would control Chip Kelly‘s tempo, and now a player making a recorded racial slur. The Philadelphia Inquirer posted this today about the Cooper situation from an anonymous player:
“I’ll tell you one thing, if it was Andy Reid, he would have gotten more than a fine.”
This is the last thing Kelly needs as he makes an attempt to build his foundation in the city. Watch the last two Eagles’ seasons and you will see the result of losing a locker room. Reid’s message got old and players stopped believing. Now Kelly is here and needs everyone on his page to make it work. If there is any doubt, he will not be a success.
Cooper has put Kelly in this situation. The receiver apologized to the team and the Inquirer article quotes other players as having mixed responses. Some, like Michael Vick, have said they moved on. Others are not so quick. Jeffrey Lurie and Kelly should do the right thing and cut Cooper now. He has never lived up to his potential and the team could make a clean break now before entering to the battle of the regular season.
Kelly does not need players wishing for Reid’s level of discipline. Cooper’s fine sends a message that Kelly will be light-handed in dealing with the team. In any other workplace, an employee using the same slur as Cooper would be at least severely punished and most likely terminated. He is no longer part of the team. He is not respected. His ship is sinking and Kelly should jump before he is pulled down with him.