Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Chip Kelly is very sure of himself.
So when the Eagles coach turns up the smug-meter and starts running a little pompous and egotistical, it's just par for the course.
That said, something caught my ear at Kelly's season-ending press conference, a veiled shot at his general manager Howie Roseman.
Kelly said Roseman was good at handling the salary cap, on the surface a compliment to anyone who doesn't understand the inner-workings of the Eagles.
To those who do, however, it was a clear shot at Roseman, a glorified money man who has risen through the ranks of the organization and now fashions himself as a football guy despite no prior experience as a player, coach or scout.
"For me to stand there and say, 'I think paragraph five of his contract should mean this, instead of this.' That's not my forte, not my strength," Kelly said when queried about his relationship with Roseman. "I'm not going to delve into that and say, 'I think his signing bonus should be this, but let's retroactive that and only make it for injury in the third and fourth year.' That's not my strength. I understand it, but that's really what (Roseman) does an outstanding job of that.
"I think since I've been here one of the attractive things about this job, there are not cap issues. You don't look at it and go, 'Oh, my God. We're going to have to cut 12 players because we're going to be $40 million over the cap.' (Roseman) does an outstanding job of that. That's his training."
To anyone who knows Roseman and what makes him tick, that's as passive aggressive as it gets.
Kelly further aggravated his insecure GM when he called now-ousted vice president of player personnel Tom Gamble "an outstanding football man."
Two different sources who know Roseman well said he was seething after Kelly's statements, which marginalized him in the personnel aspect of the business.
Kelly is a lot like Jim Harbaugh, though. It's football 24-7 for Chip and the ex-49ers coach and both underestimated the political savvy of their respective general managers.
Harbaugh is now at the University of Michigan because of his miscalculations with Trent Baalke and this dust-up in Philadelphia could signal the beginning of the end for Kelly with the Eagles.
Roseman is a shark that probably missed his calling in life, a take-no- prisoners operative in the mold of Rahm Emanuel. At 39, he's the youngest GM in football but don't let his boyish looks fool you, the list of executives who have lost power struggles with him is stunning: Joe Banner, Tom Heckert, Jason Licht, Ryan Grigson, Louis Riddick, and now Gamble.
When Kelly made his move, Roseman had his people quickly leak the fact that the New York Jets were looking to talk to him about their vacant general manager position, conveniently leaving out the fact that the Jets did indeed want to talk to Roseman but it was about Eagles pro personnel director Rick Meuller.
That little nugget certainly got to Philadelphia owner Jeffrey Lurie, who already considered Roseman his indispensable right-hand man on the football side of things, something that could have been "validated" by the feigned Jets' interest.
Gamble, meanwhile, was Kelly's most trusted advisor on the football side, a man with nearly 30 years of NFL experience who paid the price for the coach's insolence by being fired on New Year's Eve.
Described as a "mutual parting of the ways," Gamble was actually escorted from the NovaCare complex by security, a high-profile pawn in a game of inside baseball between Roseman and Kelly.
A game which Roseman won.
It was Gamble who had Kelly's ear when it came to talent and the coach was given final say on the 53-man roster when he was hired in 2013, meaning Gamble had more say over who was playing for the Eagles this season than Roseman. And that wasn't about to change because Kelly has little respect for Roseman when it comes to player evaluation.
Others have speculated that Roseman was also concerned that Kelly was so popular in the city that he could eventually flex his muscles to oust him and elevate Gamble to GM.
A December swoon and a poorly perceived 2014 draft hurt Kelly's reputation a bit and Roseman pounced, using that, along with the coach's own hubris, to fortify a power base that will only grow from here.