By: Kylan Watson
The San Francisco 49ers decided to part ways with their General Manager Trent Baalke and Head Coach Chip Kelly. For Baalke this has been building for a while. The 49ers franchise has been in disarray since a power struggle took place in 2014 that left former coach Jim Harbaugh out of a job and brought him to the Michigan Wolverines. Chip Kelly was the second coach to try to take on coaching the Niners after Harbaugh.
After one season Kelly was fired, this is the second franchise; Chip has been fired from in two years. In 2015, Kelly was fired by the Philadelphia Eagles after two winning seasons. Kelly went 2-14 during his tenure as the Niners coach. Chip Kelly’s tenure was marred by protests by quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Safety Eric Reid. He also found himself in a power struggle once again with a GM that did not believe in his vision. Kelly was fired on December 31st, 2016.
Kelly was considered an offensive genius in the NFL, as he revolutionized the hurry-up offense. With the Eagles Kelly was known for not caring about time of possession, he wanted his teams to score as quickly as possible. Kelly also could not assemble a really good defense, with either franchise. He hired Bill Davis in Philadelphia, who was known for blitzing in Philadelphia, and in San Francisco instead of hiring Eric Mangini, he hired Jim O’Brien, who just like Kelly is stubborn and he did not really adjust his playbook or defensive scheme for the different teams the Niners faced.
It seems that in San Francisco, Chip Kelly could not live up to his own coaching persona. The Philadelphia Chip Kelly was much more successful than the San Francisco Chip Kelly. Chip Kelly had two great seasons with Andy Reid’s players before he decided to gut the team in 2014 and 2015. In 2016 it seemed like teams figured out Chip Kelly, his offensive prowess never reached the level of the high rankings seen in Philadelphia and during his time in Oregon.
Chip Kelly probably needs to go back to college and rebuild his brand as a person who can be a leader of men, because in Philadelphia he lost the locker room, and in San Francisco his stubbornness got the better of him as he inexplicably sat Colin Kaepernick until Week Five, opting to go with Blaine Gabbert. More realistically, Kelly might want to become an offensive coordinator so he can sit and learn how to build a coaching staff in the NFL. Either way Kelly needs to take some time off and reassess whether he can be a coach in the NFL or is he just a great college coach, who is not cut out for the NFL.