Chip Kelly to Eagles players: ‘As long as they have me here, I’m here’
Several Philadelphia Eagles players confirmed on Tuesday that head coach Chip Kelly directly addressed the rumors swirling around his uncertain future with the organization.
Kelly has been playing defense amid speculation that he may be on his way out of Philadelphia, but he apparently spent a portion of the team’s Tuesday morning assuring players that he’s in for the long haul, so long as he’s wanted.
“He said, ‘As long as they have me here, I’m here,'” running back Kenjon Barner said, via a report from Philly.com’s Jeff McLane.
“It was real,” receiver Jordan Matthews said, via NJ.com. “It was transparent.”
“Coach Kelly said (after the loss), ‘Look, I know what people are saying, but I’m here for you guys, I wanna be here for for you and I want to make this work because I believe in you guys,'” Matthews added.
Eagles tackle Jason Peters was asked if the players needed to hear it directly from Kelly himself, not second-hand.
“To a certain extent,” he said. “Probably [more] for some of the other guys. I don’t read into the media or listen to the radio. There was speculation that he might leave. It was good to hear it from him that he said he was with us for the long haul.”
Kelly has been tied to several jobs of late, including the since-filled head coaching job at USC. While he has denied any report linking him to other coaching vacancies — primarily at the college level — the rumors persist.
Paired with the Eagles’ disappointing 4-7 season — one preceded by Kelly being given even more power within the organization — has led to conjecture that the remaining five games on the Eagles’ regular season schedule possibly could serve as his swan song in Philadelphia, in some way, shape or form.
But the prevailing sentiment expressed by players Tuesday suggests that for whatever reason, Kelly wanted to make it clear to them he intends to finish what he started with the team. So long as he’s there.