Well, that didn’t last long.
Roughly two weeks after being fired by the Philadelphia Eagles, Chip Kelly was hired by the San Francisco 49ers. Kelly, who is 26-21 in the NFL, will reportedly receive a four-year, $24-million contract to coach San Fran, which went 5-11 this past season.
So, is this a smart hire by Jed York?
“Let me tell you something: This is a very, very smart hire when you consider the personnel for the San Francisco 49ers,” NFL on CBS analyst Bart Scott said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “One, if they want to get from underneath Colin Kaepernick, they can because they have Blaine Gabbert, who I think is equally as effective athletically. Not as good, but Blaine Gabbert showed me something. They have a wily possession-type receiver in Anquan Boldin. You still have the vertical threat in Torrey Smith. Carlos Hyde comes from this type of system he ran underneath Urban Meyer at Ohio State. So I think it’s a very, very smart hire. If they get a couple more pieces, it’s already set up. If you want to save Colin Kaepernick’s career, Chip Kelly and his system (could be the answer).”
Indeed, Kaepernick’s mobility makes him more effective at running Kelly’s system than, say, Sam Bradford.
“His ability to hold the backside defensive end from flattening down (is pivotal),” Scott said. “When you had Sam Bradford, you couldn’t hold the backside in. Usually in that system, that backside end, you don’t block him so you get an extra blocker to the second level because he has to respect the backside of the boot or the keep. But with Sam Bradford, people were still flattening down. They made him play-action, but what happened is they just continue coming. Play-action takes more time, so you still were getting the pressure. It wasn’t as effective. But now with Colin Kaepernick, we know this man ran for 200 yards in the playoffs or something like that. This is the perfect system if you want to save his career and still help our investment before you cut ties with him.”
As Scott pointed out, the 49ers still have several ultra-talented players, including linebacker NaVorro Bowman. They also 12 have picks in the upcoming draft.
“Are you going to get 12 guys that can help you win? No,” Scott said. “But if you get eight and trade some of those picks to get some players that you want and that you value, (you’ll be fine). And you stay busy in free agency as well. Be savvy and get you eight or nine quality guys, then go out and get some specialists. It’s not such a hard fix. I think in a year or two, they can be right back where they want.”