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NFL AM: Speculation Mounts That Kelly Could Leave Philly

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Speculation mounts about Chip Kelly leaving Philadelphia:

It was less than a year ago that Chip Kelly wrestled control of the roster from Vice President of player personnel Tom Gamble, who was let go, and General Manager Howie Roseman, who was “promoted” to executive vice president of football operations.

Now, after remodeling the roster in his image, there’s speculation that Kelly may be on his way out in Philadelphia. While there’s been nothing from the team that suggests Kelly could be on the hot seat, there’s growing talk that the Eagles’ head coach may be unhappy.

Tuesday Adam Schefter joined Pat Kirwan on Sirius XM’s NFL radio and the discussion turned to whether Kelly could be happier outside of the City of Brotherly Love. Kirwan asked Schefter about his thoughts on Kelly and quoted a source who says Kelly is as good as gone.

“I sat with a guy last week who swore that Chip Kelly’s leaving, Kirwan said. “I don’t know why I believe him, although I have great respect for him.”

It’s interesting that the source was credible enough for Kirwan to repeat his claims and talk about the respect he has for him, but also that Kirwan still wasn’t quite sure he was ready to believe the claim that Kelly was ready to see his way out.

Schefter didn’t do much to squash the situation, speculating himself that Kelly would likely be happier in elsewhere.

“I think the momentum and signs seem to be piling up against a Chip return to Philadelphia,” Schefter said during the interview. “I think both sides are sick of each other. I think the fans are tired of him. I think he’s tired of the situation there. Just my read from a far.”

It seemed like little more than speculation, but Schefter went on to assume Kelly would be happier somewhere else without suggesting where that somewhere else might be.

“I think if Chip Kelly, given a choice, would be comfortable elsewhere,” said Schefter.

There’s a good chance that somewhere else could be in back in college football, where the landscape may be changing drastically as there’s signs that LSU and Les Miles could be separating. Kelly hasn’t exactly worked out at the NFL level, and some believe he’d be better heading back to the college ranks where players are used to being treated like children.

If nothing else, Schefter had no problem believing an unnamed source that even Kirwan wasn’t ready to completely buy into, and that says a lot about the situation in Philadelphia.

“I don’t doubt what your friend is saying about Chip Kelly being a goner,” Schefter told Kirwan.

The question is why? What else could Kelly want at this point? He’s gotten everything he’s asked for from the Eagles, so why leave now?

To flip the great Bill Parcell’s words on their head, if you’re being allowed to shop for the groceries, why wouldn’t you want to continue to cook dinner?

There’s only one answer, and that’s that Kelly isn’t tough enough for the NFL. If Kelly can’t succeed in a situation where he’s been given everything he’s asked for, and if he’s even speculating walking away from Philadelphia less than a year after being given full control, he’s not the kind of leader you want running your football team and leading men.

There’s been no indication from Kelly that he’s considering leaving Philadelphia, but if he does hit the road less than a year after wrestling full control away from others in the Philadelphia front office, it should be his last NFL coaching opportunity. Kelly had done nothing to warrant complete personnel control, so walking away less than a year after demanding and getting that control would be nothing short of pathetic.

Johnny Manziel demoted to third string in Cleveland:

What the hell, Mike Pettine?

That is, and frankly should be the reaction from many Cleveland Browns fans after Pettine announced Tuesday that the team would go back to Josh McCown as the team’s starting quarterback, while demoting Johnny Manziel to third-string quarterback.

Pettine had just recently announced that Manziel would be the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season. While it wasn’t uttered out loud, this was clearly an attempt to see if Manziel was good enough for the Browns to hold off on drafting another quarterback, or beginning to look elsewhere for the future of the position.

However, after video of Manziel partying during the Browns bye week emerged, Pettine moved quickly and demoted Manziel to third string while naming McCown the starter moving forward.

“Josh McCown will be the starting quarterback on Monday night against the Ravens,” Pettine said in a statement. “I informed the quarterbacks of that decision after I sat down and spoke with Johnny, Flip (John DeFilippo) and Kevin (O’Connell) after practice today. Johnny will be the third quarterback. I’ve spoken to Ray (Farmer) and Jimmy (Haslam) to inform them of my decision, and they are in full support.

“Everyone in this organization wants what is best for Johnny just like we do for every player in our locker room. I’m especially disappointed in his actions and behavior because he has been working very hard. The improvements from last year to this year have been tremendous but he still has to consistently demonstrate that he has gained a good understanding of what it takes to be successful at the quarterback position on this level. It goes well beyond the field. We are going to continue to support him in every way possible, but at this point, we’ve decided it’s best to go with Josh as the starter going forward.”

This entire situation is an embarrassment to the Browns organization, and it’s not because of Manziel’s drinking. It’s because the Browns have mishandled this situation by not making expectations clear to Manziel.

Certainly Manziel should be careful about where he’s partying and what he’s allowing himself to be photographed doing in a year after the young man checked himself into rehab, but let’s be serious here.

Manziel clearly never had any intention of putting down drinking forever, and the rehab stint was quite obviously a way to clean up his image entering the 2015 season. There’s no chance the Browns expected Manziel to never drink again, and if they did, they didn’t make that clear to the second-year signal caller.

If the expectation was that Manziel wouldn’t be drinking at all, then why was there no discipline after the incident where Manziel and his girlfriend spoke to police after an altercation road side in which Manziel admitted to drinking earlier in the day?

In this incident, which turned out to be nothing, Manziel admitted to drinking after police involvement. If that situation doesn’t get Manziel reprimanded by the Browns, than how the hell does partying during the bye week get the guy benched? Sorry, but that’s absurd.

In a league where teams are suiting up guys like Mike Vick, Pac Man Jones, and Greg Hardy every Sunday, are we really going to rake Manziel over the coals for a little immaturity?

Sure, Manziel could have used a little more common sense, and certainly could have picked better people to be around on the night in question, but this failure is on the Browns and Pettine. If they’re going to bench Manziel for drinking at a party after issuing no discipline earlier in the year after admitted drinking, they’re doing Manziel and Cleveland a disservice, and they better be fielding guys without an arrest record this weekend.

Shame on you, Browns.

Seahawks and Patriots to be without Lynch and Amendola:

Seattle Seahawks tailback Marshawn Lynch is going to be out a month after surgery to repair a sports hernia.

The hard-nose running back will be out as his team pushes for a playoff spot, but could be ready to return late in the regular season or in the playoffs. You’d have to imagine the Seahawks trying to get him back on the field if they’re in the mix for the playoffs entering the schedule’s final leaks.

However, if the Seahawks fall out of playoff contention during Lynch’s rehab, the team could shut him down for the season. There’s no reason to put any more wear on the veteran back’s tires if the team isn’t in contention once he’s healthy, so don’t be surprised if Lynch shuts it down if Seattle falls out of playoff contention.

The New England Patriots have been dealing with injury issues of their own while somehow managing to stay undefeated, but the mounting injuries are going to make it tough.

The team already has an offensive line that looks like it’s playing a game of musical chairs, and recently lost star wide receiver Julian Edelman to a broken foot.

Now the receiver position gets even thinner for New England. After catching nine passes for 117 yards (greatly in part to Edelman’s absence) Monday night against the Buffalo Bills, Danny Amendola has been diagnosed with a sprained knee, and is listed as week to week.

The Seahawks and Patriots met in Super Bowl 49 back in February, but injuries to key players may keep both of them from reaching the big game this time around.


About Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan has covered the NFL for almost a decade and is a host and producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio flagship 620WDAE/95.3FM. Pat covers the NFC South and NFC East for Football Insiders. Follow him on Twitter, @PatDonovanNFL.