11 takeaways from Chip Kelly’s introduction as 49ers coach
Newly hired 49ers head coach Chip Kelly has officially taken over in San Francisco.
Kelly met with the media on Wednesday, nearly a week after being hired. Kelly, of course, was dismissed in Philadelphia after three seasons and addressed some questions about his past. Mainly, though, he steered the conversation toward the future of the "preeminent organization" of the NFL.
"It was clear to Trent (Baalke, GM) and I that his vision was above the rest," 49ers president Jed York said. "He’s going to take us where we want to go."
For a franchise that has steadily fallen from 12 to eight to five wins in three seasons, the quest for a sixth Super Bowl title begins now.
Here are 11 of the most notable takeaways from Kelly’s introductory press conference.
1. Kelly didn’t fully commit to quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the starter. Instead, he said that "it’s an ongoing process." Since Kelly has been in San Francisco he says he has met with both Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert, but noted that because of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) he can’t "talk football" with his players until April 4.
2. Kelly believes that the zone-read can be an effective offense in the NFL. "I know Russell Wilson and Cam Newton are killing people with it right now," Kelly said.
3. Several veterans, including Joe Staley, NaVorro Bowman and more, have already met with Kelly.
4. Kelly said that he’s still conducting an ongoing "autopsy" on what went wrong in Philadelphia. When asked about remarks critical of him by Eagles players last season and after his ouster, he said the one thing that struck him when he was fired was the amount of texts and calls from players and coaches he received. "I feel comfortable with my relationships with my players there," he said.
5. Wondering why it took Kelly nearly a week to meet with the media after being hired? The Niners head coach said he didn’t have any clothes and that he wanted to fly back to New Hampshire to celebrate his father’s 87th birthday.
6. There was a lot of talk about synergy and similar visions between Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke. "Trent’s a football guy and I like to think I’m a football guy," Kelly said.
7. Kelly elaborated on what a "football guy" means: "I have a passion for the game of football. I have a great respect for this game. It’s a special game and it takes a special person to play it and coach it. There’s a tremendous amount of work you have to put in to be successful for just that one day."
8. Baalke described Kelly as a "well-rounded, highly innovative coach with a proven track record of success at every level." Kelly went 26-21 with the Eagles and 44-5 as a collegiate head coach.
9. Baalke will own power over the 53-man roster. "I’m real comfortable with that," Kelly said.
10. Kelly was asked a question about former 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and their similar career patterns. "I have great respect for Jim," Kelly said. "I’m a big Jim Harbaugh fan and he’s having great success at Michigan."
11. Kelly turned his focus toward hiring a staff. He says he’s looking to hire the best coaches and let them coach. "I’m not going to be in positional meeting rooms," he said. "I’m not a micro-manager by any stretch of the imagination."