Grading the San Francisco 49ers Offseason so Far
By Peter Panacy
The 49ers parted ways with Tomsula following what was a boring and abysmal 2015 season. In his wake, San Francisco tabbed Kelly — a head coach coming off a forgettable year of his own with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Many fans likely feel as if current Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson would have been the best fit and Kelly was a fallback option.
Despite Kelly’s concerns in Philadelphia, the fact is he won’t be controlling the roster as was the case with the Eagles in 2015. And that’s a good thing.
San Francisco’s last-place offense from a year ago will be better this season. Although to what degree remains to be seen. The 49ers still lack a lot of talent at a multitude of offensive positions, and it will fall on Baalke to ensure the roster has some pieces with which Kelly can work.
Importantly, the 49ers tabbed former Browns defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil to helm the same position in San Francisco.
NFL Films senior producer (h/t David Fucillo of Niners Nation) described why O’Neil’s defense may be ranked low given Kelly’s unique offensive style:
"You go through a learning curve in anything you do when you’re fairly new at it, and I think Jim probably went through that in Cleveland. They had some struggles on the defensive side of the ball. They didn’t have a ton of talent, but they certainly did have some struggles. And I would expect him to have learned and be better. Now it comes down to, what’s the talent? Can you be significantly better without a significant influx of talent? And as I said, no matter how much better the talent might be, the numbers will probably not be great because you’re the defensive coordinator on a Chip Kelly team."
This may be a significant question mark for the 49ers this season. And yet it’s likely we’ll see the team improve from what was a boring underachievement a year ago.
Next: Re-signing Players