After three disappointing seasons in Philadelphia, where he alienated players and let his ego run rampant, Chip Kelly has been rewarded with a new job as the head coach the San Francisco 49ers. It's good to be on the NFL coaching carousel.
The 49ers announced Thursday that the former Eagles and University of Oregon coach will follow Super Mario doppelganger Jim Tomsula and become the team’s 20th head coach. For Niners fans primarily concerned with entertainment, this is a fantastic move. Both Kelly and 49ers CEO Jed York are well-known control freaks whose recalcitrance has hurt their teams in the past. Even if the Kelly era in San Francisco is a disaster, it’ll be fun to watch.
For those fans who just want to win, the Kelly hire is slightly less exhilarating given the uncertainty. The offensive genius is the ultimate boom or bust coach, a man who could conceivably turn the Niners into Oregon and run circles around the league. On the other hand, he could do what he just did in Philly.
But there’s reason to believe that things might go differently in San Francisco, largely because Kelly might finally have a quarterback who fits his system. Colin Kaepernick is the mobile, athletic signal-caller that thrived under Kelly at Oregon, but the 28-year-old has been awful since starting during Super Bowl XLVII. If there’s a coach who can resurrect Kap’s career though, it’s Kelly. And any fan of up-tempo high scoring football should be pulling for their success, whether they're a part of Niners nation of not.