Nothing in Chip Kelly’s words or actions suggest he’s a racist. And yet, Brandon Boykin became the third former Eagle (joining Lesean McCoy and assistant coach Tra Thomas) to imply as much – a slanderous charge that Boykin tried to walk back the next day.
What makes Kelly tough for some players to deal with is his insistence in total compliance. You either fully buy into his program or you get exiled, like Evan Mathis or Cary Williams. That means embracing full-speed practices on Saturdays, daily urine tests during camp and no second-guessing the coach – especially to the media.
McCoy took some of that as a questioning of his manhood. Boykin, wrestling with words Sunday to clarify earlier statements, said he couldn’t “relate to” Kelly. Meanwhile, key players on the team – like Connor Barwin and Jason Peters – seem to be true believers.
What’s obvious is that many of the players left behind by nice guy Andy Reid have had a tough time with Kelly’s “culture,” which is why we’re down to 13 guys who played for Big Red still on the team.
Chip’s no racist. But he’s a hard ass. A whole lot of NFL players wouldn’t – or couldn’t – play for him. His trick is finding 53 who can.
Phillies made right choice
Much as it hurts this Cole Hamels fan, I agree it was in the Phillies’ interest to trade him. And I’m hopeful the haul of prospects they got from Texas might pan out. But one aspect of the trade bugs me.
The Phils sent Texas an extra $9.5 million to offset a fraction of the $82 million due Hamels through 2018. And they took back Matt Harrison in the trade. Harrison is owed $35 million through 2017, but has pitched just nine games in the past three years because of a chronically bad back. He flew to Philadelphia and immediately went on the DL, presumably through the end of the season.
So, essentially, the Phils ponied up $44.5 million to part with Hamels. Maybe that spurred the Rangers to part with better prospects (although, notably, none of their top three). But it certainly could have been used in the coming off-season to sign a free agent, overhaul scouting and development or land an up-and-coming Cuban exile.
Oh, and this: I’ve got this hunch that Ruben Amaro is coming back as general manager next season. Sorry if that last sentence caused you to spit coffee through your nose.
Pat Burrell on the Wall of Fame? The Phils really need to raise their minimum standards . . . We haven’t talked enough about Kiko Alonso, who is going to be this city’s next superstar . . . Loved the move by Flyerscoach Dave Hakstol, flying 4,000 miles just to have dinner with Jakub Voracek . . Hate to admit it, but I enjoy the ads with “Eli Manning, Bad Comedian.”