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Niners introduce 'well-rounded' new coach Chip Kelly

Jed York, 49ers CEO, stood at the podium and told a room full of reporters Wednesday about his goal to get the team "back to championship form." Minutes later, general manager Trent Baalke introduced new head coach Chip Kelly, the man they believe will get San Francisco back to the promised land.

Kelly spent the next 30 minutes answering questions from a Bay Area media group that wanted to know what went wrong in Philadelphia, what will become of Colin Kaepernick and why it took six days after Kelly's hiring for his introductory news conference to take place, among other questions.

A reporter even offered a long-winded query in which he described Kelly as "borderline crazy" twice in 30 seconds. This is going to be a beautiful marriage.

"At the end of the day, this was a fairly easy decision," Baalke said about hiring Kelly. "It was evident early on in our conversations with Chip that he shared a very similar vision to us with respect to the direction of this football team. He's a well-rounded, highly innovative coach with a proven track record of success at every level of competition, including the NFL.

"He's a strong leader of men and somebody I really consider a true football guy."

Here's what you need to know from Chip's San Fran debut:

» We don't know how it will end, but the marriage between Kelly, Baalke and York is starting like most relationships do -- it's a real lovefest. Kelly called Baalke "a grinder" and said he was "struck by the synergy" in the 49ers' building. "It's really humbling to stand here as the 19th head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, to me, the preeminent organization of the National Football League."

» Many people are tying Kelly's arrival to a possible Kaepernick redemption arc in San Francisco, but Kelly isn't offering any clues at this point. The coach cited the collective bargaining agreement rule stating you cannot discuss football with a player until April 4 (when 49ers can start offseason workout program), while making it clear he was uninterested in sending any messages to the quarterback through the media. Kelly did acknowledge that he had met with both Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert at the team facility.

» So why did it take nearly a week for Kelly to be introduced as head coach? The answer was strange and beautiful and included Kelly trying to make an actual joke.

"I've been known to run a really slow offense and I just wanted to kind of set the tone for how things are going to be here in San Francisco."

There's the joke.

"No, actually I was offered the job last Thursday afternoon. I had no clothes, just a pair of sweats. Trent had visited me with Jed when I was in New Hampshire, they asked me to come back out and I asked them what's the deal and they said jump on a plane, so I did. And I really didn't have any change of clothes."

Kelly also mentioned his father celebrated his 87th birthday on Saturday and he wanted to be home for that. He probably should have just led with that.

» Kelly on any perception that he struggled to communicate with Eagles players: "I feel very, very comfortable in terms of my relationship with my players there." He added that he received multiple texts from Eagles players after his firing that "meant a lot to me."

» Baalke when asked about the Eagles' reported perception that Kelly lacked "emotional intelligence": "I'd have to look up the definition of that first."

» Kelly said he is in the process of interviewing assistants from ex-coach Jim Tomsula's staff. As of Wednesday, only running backs coach Tom Rathman had been retained.

» A reporter asked if Kelly had plans to make changes to his up-tempo offense, which seemed to lose efficiency as his Eagles tenure wore on: "I think we're receptive to anything that's going to help us win football games and I know the difficult of what we do offensively does to defenses. We'll look at anything."

» So how did Kelly react to being described as "borderline crazy" ... twice? "I don't know where the borderline crazy and that part comes in, but I have passion for the game of football and great respect for this game. It's a special game and it takes a special person to play it and coach it."

» Kelly shot down criticism that his style of offense has an adverse effect on his defense.

"I've never met a defensive player that says, 'Coach, I want you to possess the ball the entire game so I don't have to play.' I want guys on the defensive side of the football with the San Francisco 49ers that can't wait to get on the field and embrace the opportunity to get out there in play."

» Kelly confirmed he will not have final say on the Niners' 53-man roster. "Trent (Baalke) has control of the 53 and I'm real comfortable with that. I wouldn't be here if I wasn't."

» Chip Kelly-in-a-nutshell quote: "I'm not governed by the fear of what other people say. You have to have belief and conviction in what you're doing."

Buckle up. This is going to be a fun ride.

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