(SportsNetwork.com) – One thing life teaches you is to follow the money.
When the legendary Reggie White left Philadelphia for Titletown in 1993, the
“Minister of Defense” remarked that “God told me to go to Green Bay,” a story
I’ve always bought because deities aren’t dumb and the Packers just happened
to offer White the most money.
Similarly Frank Gore’s stunning about-face from Philadelphia to Indianapolis
in free agency had a lot to do with the green stuff. Along with the cash,
though, a little “Kelly” green was involved.
Gore, a five-time Pro-Bowl selection in San Francisco, is going to be 32 by
the start of the 2015 NFL season and Chip Kelly’s up-tempo approach with the
Eagles probably isn’t the best thing for the legs of a running back on the
wrong side of 30.
So while it’s fair to point out that Gore’s buyer’s remorse toward the Eagles
really only manifested itself after the Colts upped the ante a bit and offered
a little more money than Philadelphia, it’s also impartial to say his decision
to backtrack from becoming the replacement for the departed LeSean McCoy
seemed to kick in when news broke that star wide receiver Jeremy Maclin would
be exiting Philadelphia to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs.
By all accounts Gore started questioning the entire Eagles culture, everything
from Kelly’s my-way-or-the-highway management style to his decision making
with top-tier talent.
DeSean Jackson sped down I-95 last summer and now McCoy, Maclin and
quarterback Nick Foles, who was traded to St. Louis on Tuesday, along with a
2015 fourth-round pick and a conditional ’16 second-round pick, for bonus baby
Sam Bradford, his massive contract, and the Rams’ fifth-round pick in ’15, are
filing change-of-address forms, a stark reality which paints Kelly as a system
coach who doesn’t value his chess pieces.
Others have gone farther, claiming Kelly simply can’t deal with strong
personalities in his locker room, a spin Gore began to buy into before turning
to Indianapolis, a much more stable environment.
“I think he values the quarterback position in his offense the most.
Quarterback and offensive line,” former Eagles offensive lineman Todd
Herremans, who also signed with the Colts, said in an interview with a
Philadelphia-area radio station when discussing Kelly. “I think other than
that, I think that he feels like he can kind of, you know, the system will
take care of it.”
Gore had every right to change his mind and leave Kelly at the altar and it
is coming across as the logical approach because not only was the money better
in Indy, the Colts are closer to being a Super Bowl team because they have the
league’s one ascending superstar quarterback in Andrew Luck.
The Eagles, meanwhile, and Kelly’s so-called, quarterback-proof offense still
have no clear answer at the game’s most important position.
The lead-footed Foles played very well at times but obviously alienated Kelly
with his lack of movement skills and slow decision-making. So now the signal-
caller in the City of Brotherly Love could be Bradford, a player with the
accuracy Kelly strives for but an injury history which makes Foles seem
durable, or Mark Sanchez, the pedestrian ex-Jets starter who was recently re-
signed by the Birds.
And yes, Marcus Mariota, the bell of Kelly’s ball and a player the coach would
mortgage the future for, could still be in play.
Your guess is as good as mine because Kelly is coming off as unhinged since
being handed the keys to the kingdom by team owner Jeffrey Lurie.
Which leads up back to God or at least the irreverent Twitter parody account
“I’m omniscient but even I don’t know what the Philadelphia Eagles are doing,”
the fake creator wrote.
Frank Gore’s not all-seeing either but he’s shaping up as really, really