Each day between now and post-Super Bowl Monday, we’ll roll out a get-to-the-point offseason plan for one NFL team. Today, the 49ers; tomorrow, the Ravens. After that, we’ll see. Here’s our three-point plan for San Francisco:
1. FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU HAVE IN COLIN KAEPERNICK
New coach Chip Kelly certainly loves mobile quarterbacks. They don’t get more dangerous — on the ground — than Kaepernick. Kelly, though, must identify whether Kaepernick can make the lightning-quick decisions his system demands. Kaepernick has struggled to move through his reads in the past. Typically, if his first read wasn’t there, he’d immediately rely on his ability to create by scrambling. Kaepernick isn’t far removed from being the player who led the 49ers to the Super Bowl a few years ago. After a midseason benching in 2015, Kelly must quickly figure out whether he can unlock he potential that convinced the organization to give Kaepernick a seven-year, $126 million contract two years ago. The team can’t afford another season without a plan at quarterback.
2. GET PLAYERS IN CHIP KELLY SHAPE
Kelly’s players will need to adjust to his fast-paced style in a hurry.
Wide receiver Torrey Smith took to Twitter shortly after he found out Kelly would be his new coach. “Guess I might have to start running right now to get in shape,” Smith wrote. Smith, of course, was having fun with the tweet, but the 49ers should be prepared for a training camp unlike any other. One of the big reasons Kelly didn’t work out in Philly was the response he got from his players. Though he’s known as an innovative mind in the way he applies sport science to football, players who aren’t prepared for Kelly’s frenetic pace will be left by the wayside.
3. TALK ANTHONY DAVIS OUT OF RETIREMENT
The 49ers would love to see Davis return to their offensive line.
The 49ers experienced one of the most bizarre offseasons in recent memory last year. Linebackers Patrick Willis and Chris Borland and offensive tackle Anthony Davis all made decisions to retire early. Davis, though, is entertaining the idea of suiting up for San Francisco next season. You might remember the now-26-year-old wanted to step away to give his “brain and body a chance to heal.” Adding a player the caliber of Davis — who started 71 straight games after he was drafted 11th overall in 2010 — would be quite a coup for Kelly and Co.