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Chip Kelly: Fantastic interactions with Colin Kaepernick

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Now that Colin Kaepernick has lost his ill-fated leverage play with John Elway and the Broncos, he's forced to overlook his own trade request and return to the 49ers for a quarterback competition with Blaine Gabbert.

Despite Kaepernick's rocky offseason with the organization, coach Chip Kelly insists everything is copacetic on the practice field and in the classroom.

"I understand there's a business-side to this deal, and that's why everybody has agents and that's why we have a front office," Kelly told KNBR-AM, via the 49ers official website, on Friday. "On a football level and on a day-to-day basis and how we get along, it's been fantastic."

"We set that kind of parameter to begin with: When you're here, we're going to coach the heck out of you. He understands that, and he's been great with that. We haven't had any 'elephants in the room' or anything to speak of from that standpoint. ... I've had great interaction with Kap, and so has our quarterbacks coach, offensive coordinator and everybody in the building."

Even if Kaepernick and Kelly are committed to making the relationship work in San Francisco, there is no guarantee Kap will be under center in Week 1 versus the Los Angeles Rams.

Kelly pointed out that "Colin is injured right now" as he continues rehabbing from a trio of surgeries. While Kaepernick's participation in practices is limited, the "extremely athletic" Gabbert is opening eyes on the new coaching staff.

"The one thing that jumped out right away was just how athletic Blaine was," Kelly added. "We did not play against him when I was in Philly, so this is really my first exposure to him. But I think his athleticism is the first thing that kind of jumped out at me."

Next Gen Stats bolster that sentiment. Gabbert posted a top-two quarterback speed in each of his first five starts last season. At 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds with high-end speed, the former No. 10 overall pick in the draft ranks with Kaepernick, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson and Marcus Mariota as the most athletic quarterbacks in the league.

"He's a very good athlete," ex-coach Jim Tomsula said last November. "He can run, he's fast, he's strong. You got to see that, but we see it in practice."

Although the immediate hype suggested a Kaepernick resurgence when Kelly was hired, it's quite possible that Gabbert will prove to be an even better fit for the new offense.

Either way, Kelly is unlikely to name a starter before training camp opens in late July.

"We're not playing a game until September," Kelly stressed on Friday.

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