The Eagles were 4-12 a year ago, aren’t sure who the quarterback is going to be, and are implementing new everythings under new coach Chip Kelly.
But while the talent base of the team might have eroded as much as expectations, Kelly said he’s not willing to accept that his team won’t be competitive this year.
“My job is to win right now,” Kelly said, via Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com. “How do you think I’d be received in Philly if I told them we were going to write this year off? Those people that are waving to me on the streets right now? That ain’t going to happen.
“But that’s never been my mentality, either. We’re not writing anything off. We’re going out there to compete and see how it falls, but that’s never been our mentality. I don’t think anyone on our staff, anyone in our locker room, . . . you want to talk about our players buying in? If I went in the locker room and said, ‘This is going to be a really good year for us to get ready for the following year,’ that’s not going to work.
“No one has a mindset like that. So our decision isn’t based upon what is the future two years down the road, three years down the road. I don’t think that far.”
Of course, no coach takes a job thinking he’s going to fail, and Kelly himself doesn’t have much experience with it. He was 46-7 at Oregon, but knows well that others who piloted successful college programs have failed to win at this level.
“Every day you go out there you don’t think, ‘Hey, we’re going to win 46 out of 53,’” he said. “It’s a competition every single day, so I don’t think that way, that, hey, I’m not used to losing. We’ve got the utmost respect for whoever we’re going to compete against.
“I know it’s extremely difficult to win in this league. You just look at everybody’s record over the history of the game. It is a different game from that standpoint. But that’s just part of it. That’s the challenge. You look at it and kind of embrace it. You’re excited about it.”
The excitement and promise of something new will buy Kelly some time.
But after missing the playoffs the last two years, Philadelphia fans aren’t inclined toward patience, and will let him know that soon enough.