Thursday, January 14, 2016

Cashing their Chip

I don't know what the San Francisco 49ers saw in Chip Kelly, but apparently it was enough. Booted after making a mess of things in Philly, Kelly was today announced as the Niners next head coach.

And to that you can only say, good luck to all.

The Blob remains skeptical of the Chipster, if only because he seems to be re-writing an oft-written theme: Imperial college coach who couldn't adjust to the NFL dynamic. Lou Holtz couldn't and Steve Spurrier couldn't and Nick Saban couldn't, among others. And, when Kelly was shown the road in Philly, it appeared the pattern had held.

(A pattern to which you'd sort of have to add Jim Harbaugh, who wore out his welcome pretty quickly after getting the 49ers to the Super Bowl. Apparently, one year of Jim Tomsula wiped clean any memory of that, because here the Niners go again, bringing in another college hotshot.)

Anyway, we shall see what we shall see. One thing you're not likely to see is Kelly making many personnel decisions, considering how badly he failed that course in Philly. Andy Reid in Kansas City (and formerly the Eagles longtime head coach) no doubt sends Kelly thank-you notes every day for sending him Jeremy Maclin and keeping the massively average Riley Cooper.

So, it's likely Chip will get to concentrate on football. And maybe that will work, because in Colin Kaepernick he at least has a quarterback whose skill set seems to jibe with Kelly's allegedly brilliant offense. Why Kelly thought the largely inert Sam Bradford was the right fit was and always will be one of life's great mysteries.

Under Kelly, Kaepernick at least has a shot at reviving his dead career. Other than that, it's hard to see any upside here unless Kelly actually did learn something in Philly about relating to NFL players, and applies that education in San Francisco.

If not, his imperiousness and inclination to view his players more as chess pieces than human beings will go over no better on the West Coast than it did on the East Coast. He may win more games than the unfortunate Tomsula, but he'll once again lose his locker room along the way.

And the pattern will hold again.

No comments:

Post a Comment