It’s a shame that a head coach was only given one season to turn around that won five games the previous year. Chip Kelly took the San Francisco 49ers job thinking he had time to rebuild. Make no mistakes about it, the 49ers are in rebuild mode.
But, what was actually expected of Kelly remains to be known. Was he expected to make the playoffs, win eight games and get a few players to the Pro Bowl? Seems a bit unfair to him and I am no Kelly fan. He did not take over a playoff roster like he did with the Philadelphia Eagles so to fire him without giving him a real chance to put his stamp on the team is unfair. I understand that he was tied to Trent Baalke who was fired as well but all that does is put the team further behind the rest of the NFL.
The QB situation is still a hot mess with Blaine Gabbert and free agent to be Colin Kaepernick. Kap was a favorite of Kelly’s and to be fair, Kap played some of the best football of his career during the latter stages of the season. The running game was not bad with Carlos Hyde rushing for 988 yards in 13 games and Kaepernick rushing for another 468. If Kelly had another season he may have had time to find a receiver or two that could help Kaepernick improve on his 16 touchdowns and four interceptions in only 12 games (11 starts).
The defense was a problem as this is still a young bunch but their schedule didn’t make matters any better. The 49ers faced six of the top offenses in the NFL in 2016 and with a young defensive unit and an offense built on two players, they were outmatched. Baalke didn’t bring in the top talent but, who wants to play for a team that is rebuilding when that same player can head to a team that is on the upswing?
To let Chip Kelly go and still have to pay him the remaining of his contract is a move the 49ers should not have made. Kelly was in the process of turning that offense around and once the defense became a bit more seasoned they would have been ready to contend by 2018. Management went off emotion and the end result is another reset.