Among the stranger aspects of Chip Kelly's head coaching tenure in Philadelphia is his hesitance to admit just how much power he has over the team's personnel. He especially does not like to be referred to as the team's general manager.
And while there's some truth to that -- technically, the Eagles do not have anyone listed by that title on their team directory -- is there really any doubt that he does a majority of the tasks that are typically assigned to a general manager? Kelly does not manage the cap or draw up contracts, but when it comes to setting the standard by which his players will be evaluated, and making moves to acquire players that fit his system, Kelly is pretty much at the top of the food chain.
The only real, sensible explanation for all of this is that Kelly is messing with all of us. Would it surprise anyone if Kelly had a sort of avant garde sense of humor? Maybe he keeps thinking that the more he insists he's not the general manager, the more hysterical sports writers will get insisting that he is. Like the famous 6-1 Panthers troll of early November, sometimes it's just funny to be stubborn.
His plan may be working, or could at least provide him enough room to separate from the bizarre DeMarco Murray situation unfolding around him. Kelly said that Murray and owner Jeffrey Lurie did not meet in private to talk about Murray's gripes. Instead, they were just sitting next to each other on the charter flight home.
Potential awkwardness aside -- couldn't anyone else hear Murray if they were all crammed on a plane together? -- it might be the least enjoyable thing on Kelly's plate right now.
Thank goodness he's not the general manager.