There’s probably a very practical reason why he’s licking this mic
If you’ve ever watched Hard Knocks, you know that the usual player-cutting procedure is with the Head Coach and GM, or the position coach, or the coordinator. Very rarely are all of those guys involved at the same time. But Chip Kelly is unconventional, and even when he tells you he doesn’t want you on his team any more, he’s doing it in a different way. According to PhillyMag, Kelly’s cuts include everyone. He said:
“Obviously every guy that’s here that’s part of the 90-man roster, their lifelong dream is to be an NFL football player. To be the one to have to tell them that it’s not gonna happen here is difficult, and it’s something that is inevitable. You have to go from 90 to 75 and from 75 to 53. It’s part of the job, but it’s not a fun part of the job. We make sure that every player meets with me, every player meets with his position coach, every player meets with the coordinator on their side of the ball. You try to be as human as you can with it, but it’s always a difficult time when someone’s goal is to play in this league.”
And linebacker Najee Goode, who was previously cut by the Buccaneers before making the Eagles roster last year, said not everyone does it that way:
“I talked to Coach Schiano, and that was pretty much it. Never got to talk to my linebacker coach, never really got a chance to talk to the GM. I was kind of left unclear. That’s why Coach Kelly has always talked to us, he always wants to get a better, clearer understanding of who we are as a person. He always preaches, ‘Even if you’re leaving this team… you want to leave here as a better man, as a better person, as a better player.’”
There’s a lot of talk when players are cut about “wanting them to still make a roster.” In most cases it’s probably filler, just something to say in that meeting before you ask them for their playbook. With the Eagles, players seem to believe it. Emmanuel Acho said, “they care a lot about just helping you make the NFL … they want you to make the league. Even if you can’t make this roster, they want to help you make another roster.” The Eagles have to trim the roster from its current size (75) down to the required 53 on Saturday, but Kelly insists on doing it the right way.