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Niners met with Chip Kelly about head coaching job


If San Francisco 49ers fans want the team to make a splashy hire, Chip Kelly might be the best option.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday that Kelly met with the Niners on Thursday, per a source.

CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco first reported the meeting.

Kelly flamed out in Philadelphia after taking over personnel control in 2015. In three seasons with the Eagles he finished 26-21, including two 10-win seasons and a playoff berth in his first year.

Kelly is an intriguing candidate in San Francisco and would be a huge flip for the franchise after the disastrous ousting of Jim Harbaugh and hiring of Jim Tomsula.

Like Harbaugh, Kelly is seen as a big personality who can grind down those within the building. Hiring Kelly would be a tacit admission by CEO Jed York that he should never have pushed Harbaugh out of town. With York needing to placate an exceedingly restless fan base, only catching a big coaching fish will do.

The dynamics with Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke -- who was retained despite some poor decision-making the past two seasons -- would be intriguing. It's clear picking out the groceries isn't Kelly's forte. Meanwhile, Baalke knows he needs to get the coaching hire correct, even if that means giving up a bit of power, or he's next on the chopping block.

Kelly would also throw an interesting kink into Colin Kaepernick's future. Viewed as all but gone from San Francisco, would Chip believe he can salvage the athletic quarterback or would he rather go with the uber-cheap Blaine Gabbert?

Then there are the questions of whether current players would buy into Kelly after hearing the discord from Philly and would free agents hesitate to sign with a team boasting Kelly as its coach?

The process is far from over, but meeting with Kelly marks the first step.

Rapoport adds that the 49ers will talk with Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in a more informal meeting on Friday.


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