Stephen A. Smith, speaking on First Take, addressed Chip Kelly’s ongoing upheaval of the Eagles roster, which has seen the exits of LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin this offseason and DeSean Jackson released last year. He implied there may be racial dynamics at work. Crossing Broad transcribed:
Chip Kelly makes decisions over the last couple of years that dare I say leave a few brothas feeling uncomfortable. I think that’s fair to say. We’re sitting here looking at some of the decisions that Chip Kelly makes and I’m like what is up … what’s up with that? It’s like you gotta be his kinda guy, you know? And when Riley Cooper’s your kind of guy… Let’s get beyond the system though, the operative word is culture. The culture is what resonates with me more profoundly because I’m looking at Chip Kelly and I’m like … really?
I mean, this is Philadelphia. I’m always in Philly, and I’m telling you right now you got people walking the streets and and and … hell with it … you got brothas walking the streets going like ‘What’s up with Chip? I don’t understand this.’ Now I’m not saying I know, I’m just gonna say that it does strike me as a tad bit odd. I’m gonna repeat this. Gone: LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, ya know, DeSean Jackson. Staying: Riley Cooper.”
This past October, our site’s Jason Lisk wrote a comprehensive piece on the “culture” of Chip Kelly’s Eagles. At the time, the Philadelphia roster had the most white players in the league with 25 — five more than the Texans, who had the second-most.
Ultimately, Chip will be crushed or lauded based on whether the moves he’s been making work out. It’s apparent that this offseason has been about bolstering the defense, which gave up the fifth-most yards per game and ranked in the bottom third of the league in points allowed last season. In the interim, it would seem as though more fans and media members will be picking up on the racial dynamics of Kelly’s roster.