The Philadelphia Eagles ended their Super Bowl run with a devastating season. However, Chip Kelly found himself in a more tragic situation when the DeMarco Murray squad opted to let him go. Weeks following his dismissal from the NFL team, various squads had been linked to Kelly's name. Apart from the rumors of his tough love stance on the Sam Bradford squad, the coach's unconventional calls had been widely criticized. In fact, some fans even chided Kelly to quit professional football and go back to coaching football teams.
However, Kelly soon bounced back in action and landed himself yet another head coaching gig in the NFL. The former Philadelphia Eagles coach now finds himself with the San Francisco 49ers - a team that also experienced a disappointing NFL season. The Carlos Hyde squad saw the departure of beloved head coach Jim Tomsula after their failed Super Bowl run.
"As one of the most historic franchises in the National Football League, I realize the high standards and expectations that this position demands and I embrace the challenges ahead," shared Kelly in an official statement via ESPN. He added, "My immediate focus is to build the best coaching staff possible, one that will maximize the abilities of each of our players and put us in the best position to win football games."
According to San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke, Kelly has the attitude they have been searching for a head coach. That is, the front office wanted someone who has a clear vision of how to develop the football team. Moreover, Baalke and CEO Jed York shared that the new head coach should be one who is unafraid to reinvent the game.
"Chip possesses all the qualities we were looking for in our next head coach," announced Baalke in an official statement. The general manager went on to share, "He has demonstrated the ability to be innovative everywhere he has coached and has had great success throughout his career. Chip's passion for the game and vision for the future of this team clearly stood out to us during the search process. He is an extremely driven individual that I look forward to working with."
York echoed the words of Baalke. The CEO also cited the accomplishments of Kelly in both the college and professional levels. York further shared his optimistic view over the next NFL season that will see Kelly leading the San Francisco 49ers.
He said, "Chip has a proven track record at both the college and NFL levels that speaks for itself." York added, "We believe strongly that he is the right man to get this team back to competing for championships. I look forward to watching Trent and Chip work closely to build a team that will make us all proud."
Meanwhile, sports analysts believe that Kelly came just in time to prevent the departure of Colin Kaepernick from the San Francisco 49ers. The former starting quarterback saw himself benched in the middle of the NFL season, with Blaine Gabbert taking on his role until the end. Moreover, Kaepernick had been facing trade rumors since getting sidelined - a fact the neither he nor the San Francisco 49ers refuted.
With the entry of Kelly though, the position of Kaepernick in the NFL team appears to have regained prominence. According to Ian Rapoport, a national insider for the NFL Network, the head coach had been eyeing Kaepernick even while he was with the Philadelphia Eagles. The reported further disclosed that the quarterback held so much appeal to Kelly that the latter seriously studied the possibilities that could result in the signing of Kaepernick.
Rapoport shared via Twitter, "As he plotted potential moves & his next @NFL stop, Chip Kelly was trying to figure out how to trade for/sign Colin Kaepernick. No need now."
Apart from Kaepernick, another football star in the San Francisco 49ers roster might be affected by Kelly's entrance: Jarryd Hayne. Earlier reports indicated that the future of the former rugby star lies in the hands of the next head coach. The question now is: Will Hayne fit in Kelly's vision for the San Francisco 49ers?
"I think it's good news because Chip Kelly is know for being a really creative offensive mind and I think that's what Jarryd Hayne needs," noted Cam Inman via Fox Sports News. The veteran sports analyst added, "What Chip Kelly brings is a mindset of I'm going to get creative, we're going to get a lot of points on the board, we're going to get a lot of yards on the ground and Jarryd Hayne is an offensive asset that really was untapped this season for the 49ers."