Chip Kelly will be an NFL coach in 2016.
In San Francisco, Kelly will not have personnel control, with general manager Trent Baalke entrenched. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport said on NFL Network on Thursday that not having control is OK with Kelly, adding that the coach "learned his lesson with the Eagles" and is going to focus on coaching.
One of the reverberating stories from Philadelphia this season was that Kelly rubbed many people the wrong way and lost his locker room as the defeats mounted. In San Francisco, he'll have a second chance to correct those flaws.
The immediate question with Kelly taking over is the future of quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The 49ers appeared destined to part with the struggling signal-caller after this season, but perhaps Kelly could convince the organization he can rebuild the athletic quarterback and allow him to thrive in a fast-paced offense. In fact, Kelly reportedly considered trading for Kaepernick while with the Eagles.
The team also liked what it saw from Blaine Gabbert in his eight starts this season -- throwing for 2,031 yards, 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. During his time in Philadelphia, Kelly worked with the likes of Nick Foles, Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez. Gabbert and/or Kaepernick wouldn't exactly be a downgrade on that group.
After pushing Jim Harbaugh out the door, seeing talent flood out of the Bay Area and firing Jim Tomsula after one season, Baalke and 49ers CEO Jed York are banking on Kelly returning to the quick success he had to start his career in Philadelphia.