15 January 2016

Chip Kelly is the new San Francisco 49ers head coach

(Bill Streicher/USATSI)
For those wondering what is next for Chip Kelly in the wake of his ouster by the Philadelphia Eagles, we now have an answer. Earlier today, 49ers owner Jed York announced on the Twitter that Kelly was hired as the next head coach of the club. Kelly will become the third head coach in three years in Santa Clara following the push-out of Jim Harbaugh in 2014 and the one-year wonder that was Jim Tomsula.

It wasn't that long ago that the 49ers were in three straight NFC Championship Games, as well as Super Bowl XLVII but since then, the team has gone 13-19. Will Kelly be able to return the franchise to that kind of success?

Tomsula obviously had no business being an NFL head coach but I also don't know what the team expected out of him this season. The team had no players after such a mass exodus of talent followin the Harbaugh departure and so that team was going to take a big step back anyways. Tomsula certainly isn't free of blame for a variety of reasons but if anything, much of the blame has to go toward York and general manager Trent Baalke considering they should have known that Tomsula was not qualified to be a head coach and that he had nothing to work with whatsoever.

I have a mixed reaction to this hire. First off, I think it makes sense because if you want to get the most out of Colin Kaepernick, Kelly probably will be the coach best suited to do that. Kaepernick seems to be a pretty good fit for Kelly's offensive scheme and Kelly reportedly was looking to make a move for him depending on where he landed. Kelly got a lot out of Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez and Sam Bradford during his three seasons in Philadelphia so he just may be able to get Kaepernick's career back on track.

Also, and as I've said before, I'm not buying this notion that some folks have that Kelly's offense doesn't work in the NFL and that he failed with the Eagles. After all the last time I checked, the Eagles had themselves a pretty good offense his first two seasons and even with taking a slide this season, the average offense stats for the three seasons are pretty good. Also, Kelly went 26-21 in his three seasons in Philadelphia, starting Michael Vick, Foles, Sanchez and Bradford during that span, which is nothing to sneeze at considering that Andy Reid went 12-20 in his final two seasons. Sure, Kelly's short tenure as the personnel chief in Philadelphia was a mess but if he's just the coach out in Frisco,

But here's where I think there could be a problem with this hire. It was not that long ago that the front office had their fair share of internal issues with a high-profile and hard-nosed head coach in Jim Harbaugh, so are things really going to be any different with Kelly? Maybe York and Baalke have learned their lesson from that debacle, but they are both buffoons so who really knows.

All in all, I think that this may have been about as good of a hire that the Niners, in their current situation, could have made even with the inherent risk that Kelly could potentially feud with the team brass. I think that Kelly has shown that he can have success in the NFL with his short tenure in Philadelphia and while this current roster is awful, I think he can win out in the Bay Area.

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