By: Joe Lami
SANTA CLARA, Calif.—It took six days for the 49ers to formally introduce Chip Kelly as the new head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. The reason was an apparent wardrobe situation that Kelly had. They finally did so on Wednesday morning at Levi’s Stadium, where CEO Jed York, General Manager Trent Balke and Kelly all spoke with the media. Kelly joked about the long length of time it took, “I’ve been known to run a really slow offense, and I wanted to set the tone of how things are going to be here in San Francisco.”
Kelly will become the 19th head coach in San Francisco history after being hired last week by Balke in his home. Both claim to be “football guys” and have a very similar vision of what needs to go forward for the red and gold in the future. “It was very evident early on with Chip that he shared a similar vision to us with respect to the direction of this football team,” Balke added. “He was the right fit at this time or anytime to lead this team into the future.”
Kelly opened up his time of the presser exclaiming how impressed he was of the history of the 49ers, “we can see farther today because of the shoulders that we stand on of the people that came before us,” he added.
Of course, after a dreadful season in which San Francisco went just 5-11, questions were going to be brought up about the quarterback position and, in particular, Colin Kaepernick and his future in the red and gold. Kelly hasn’t made any promises yet, but it does seem that he may be open to the possibility of Kaep returning as the 49ers’ QB. “It’s an on going process and evaluation. We have a lot of time,” Kelly added. San Francisco has a big money decision to make in whether or not he will return and have to make it by April 1st. This, of course, is before the 49ers can start talking about football with their players on April 4.
While players were brought up on multiple occasions, Kelly and Balke ensured that the next important step was to finalize the coaching staff and then look towards evaluations, free agency, and the draft.
After a report came out yesterday that ten assistant have been relieved of their duties in Santa Clara, Kelly confirmed that running back coach, Tom Rathman will remain with the 49ers “He’s the best runningback’s coach in the league”.
The search has been ongoing for both an offensive a defensive coordinator. Reports are that the 49ers have been talking to Alabama offensive coordinator, Lane Kiffin. “We’re hopeful to get it done shortly.” Chip confirmed that he will be making the calls from the sideline on the offensive side of the ball, but that he’s looking for some diversity in his offensive coordinator. “I’m looking for some diversity. Someone that comes from a different system so that we continue to add and make what we do better”. In terms of a defensive coordinator, “I’m looking for a defensive coordinator that can shut people out”.
Kelly gave the identity he wants for this team, “I want this team to be fearless, not afraid of any situation you’re put in. There are going to be times when it’s going to be difficult, it’s going to be adverse, but you have confidence based on your preparation you’re going to see it through”.