Reports had been surfacing the past 24 hours regarding the 49ers coaching vacancy, claiming that their decision had been narrowed down between Chip Kelly and former Washington Redskins head coach, Mike Shannahan.
And just a week after being relieved of his duties in Philadelphia, it's Chip Kelly and his up-tempo offense that will be calling the bay area their new home.The move comes after the 49ers parted ways with Jim Tomsula as their head coach after only one season, The 49ers finished 5-11 (its worst record since 2007) and missed the playoffs for the second straight year.
To Tomsula's defense, the team was depleted before he was hired as head coach. After parting ways with beloved and successful head coach Jim Harbaugh, who reached the NFC title game in each of his first three seasons, along with leading the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance in 2013, the team lost big name players to unexpected retirement and free agency leaving their 2015 roster with significant holes on both sides of the ball.
Under Tomsula, the 49ers suffered a league-high nine losses by double-digits and saw struggling star quarterback Colin Kaepernick benched for Blaine Gabbert mid-way through the season.
It makes sense then for a team that struggled on both sides of the ball, but especially on offense, to bring in a coach who is known for his offensive genius, in Chip Kelly.
The 49ers ranked last or next-to-last in nearly every major statistical category in 2015 and, along with the Dallas Cowboys, were the only NFL team to not score 30 points in a game this past season.
That should change with Kelly as their new head coach. While coaching the Eagles, Kelly's offense finished in the top five in points scored and total offense in his first two seasons while sporting 10-6 records.
With the news of Kelly's arrival comes the discussion of whether or not the 49ers will decide to keep quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
It's no secret that the team has had discussions on whether to keep or trade the struggling quarterback, who is also recovering from three surgeries: left shoulder, right thumb, and left knee.
It's also no secret that Kelly's offensive scheme plays into Kaepernicks skill set, and one has to believe that if Kelly was able to pull off a top five offense with Nick Foles and Sam Bradford under-center, Kaepernick, if healthy, has a shot to bring the offense we witnessed when Kelly was coaching the Oregon Ducks to the NFL.
It wasn't long ago that Kaepernick was leading his 49ers to a Super Bowl berth and two consecutive NFC championships, while being compared to now Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson.
But all that hope of Kaepernick leading his team once again may have left when San Francisco decided to part ways with Jim Harbaugh.
And with the Chip Kelly era now in full effect in San Francisco, it may be wise to move forward from the past.
Along with free agents like Robert Griffin III, and now Johnny Manziel, who seems to be done in Cleveland, the QB position is up for grabs. The 49ers and Chip Kelly hold the fifth pick in this year's draft. An asset they can easily use to acquire a stud running back such as Alabama's Derrick Henry or Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliot to pair with one of the two aforementioned mobile quarterbacks.
[AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File]