Mike Klis Documents Evan Mathis’s Journey To Super Bowl Champion

There is so much good stuff in this article, but it’s important to highlight the key factor that led Mathis from Philadelphia to Denver.  As Mathis said to Klis:

There were many things that Chip had done that showed me he wasn’t building a championship team. Two of the main issues that concerned me were: 1. A never-evolving, vanilla offense that forced our own defense to play higher than normal play counts. 2. His impatience with certain personality types even when they were blue-chip talents. The Broncos team I was on would have eaten Chip alive. I don’t think he could have handled the plethora of large personalities.

The first point should be a strong point against Kelly being some revolutionary genius. But the second point is more important, and it’s is a trap that so many coaches coming from college fall into. It’s easy enough to run over college-aged personalities, but players in the NFL have been through that gauntlet before, and aren’t interested in getting run over again after that experience.

I also have to highlight how he demanded to leave Philly, in a way that is a prime example of Mathis’s humor:

Most players would use their agent to handle such a task. Mathis directly texted Kelly with a YouTube video of Engelbert Humperdink singing, “Please release me, let me go. …

Given the injuries that he was going through, I would have preferred “I’ll hold the pain, release me“, but if the goal was maximum annoyance of Kelly, pure 1980s ballads are the way to go.