San Francisco 49ers: 5 Best Decisions the Team Made This Offseason
By Peter Panacy
No. 5: Hiring Head Coach Chip Kelly
Certainly most fans would agree the experiment with former head coach Jim Tomsula didn’t work, and it was a necessity to part ways with him after a disastrous 5-11 season — a year in which the 49ers ranked at, or near the bottom of, nearly every major offensive and defensive category.
To replace Tomsula, the 49ers inked former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly.
There will be those who argue the Kelly hiring was a mistake. I remember NFL analyst Mark Schlereth appearing on Sacramento’s ESPN 1320 and saying something along the lines of the 49ers not being a real NFL team until Kelly’s gimmicky collegiate offense was replaced.
And yes, Kelly’s final year with the Eagles didn’t go so well. But a lot of that should be attributed to his handling of the roster.
He won’t have that kind of control in San Francisco. Instead, Kelly will be tasked with handling the on-field efforts and reinvigorating an offense, which ranked dead last in the league a season ago with just 238 points scored.
Take what Fox Sports’ Jason McIntyre said of Kelly’s handling of his quarterbacks in Philadelphia — Nick Foles and Sam Bradford:
Tack on Kelly’s inside-zone approach, and how it will maximize running back Carlos Hyde’s potential, and there are plenty of reasons to be excited about what the new head coach will bring.
Sure, there will be questions. Will Kelly’s uptempo offense put a young 49ers defense in jeopardy? Will his fast-paced, intense practice eventually wear on the players themselves? Can Kelly’s personality jell with general manager Trent Baalke, or will it wear down over time as was the case with former head coach Jim Harbaugh?
Those answers will be revealed down the road. But let’s get one thing straight — Kelly has proven success at the NFL level, and he certainly is a step (or few) above Tomsula.
Next: No. 4: Parting Ways with Anquan Boldin