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49ers Hire Chip Kelly; Can He Overcome Himself?

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The San Francisco 49ers have announced that former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly will occupy the same post.

It’s likely an upgrade for the 49ers, who appointed Jim Tomsula to the same position for 2015 and finished with a 6-10 record.

The main question about the hire will be exactly what Kelly learned from his failures in Philadelphia and how he plans on doing things differently.

Kelly is already in a better situation in the sense that he won’t have personnel control in San Francisco.  The power he coveted in Philly ultimately became his undoing as he made poor personnel decision after poor personnel decision and took a talent laden roster to mediocrity pretty quickly.

The next issue with Kelly will be how he relates to his players.  The head coach doesn’t have to be the player’s best friend or “one of the guys,” but he needs to treat them like professionals and the respect has to be mutual.  That was not the case at his previous stop.

The 49ers potentially have the most Kelly-style quarterback that he has coached yet in the NFL in Colin Kaepernick, who is a a dual-threat.  The former second-round pick from Nevada regressed last season in his first year without former coach Jim Harbaugh, and Kelly and the 49ers need to evaluate whether they’d like to bring him back.

If they do, this could be the very best system to take advantage of Kaepernick’s plethora of talents that had NFL Analyst and former quarterback Ron Jaworski claim that he “could be the best quarterback ever.”

Without personnel control, Kelly can concentrate on coaching, something he’s been very good at.  He can’t initiate an exodus of talented players like he did in Philadelphia because the 49ers have very few of them.

Did Kelly learn from his shortcomings and will his ego allow him to be more relatable to his new players?

The 49ers brass certainly hopes so.  He could be the guy to resurrect a franchise that was in the Super Bowl just three years ago.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.