The San Francisco 49ers are expected to fire head coach Chip Kelly after today’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, but it is not yet official. While multiple reports are claiming that Kelly is out as the head coach of the 49ers, there is apparently a small chance that he can convince ownership to give him another season. As ProFootballTalk reports, Kelly will meet with ownership after today’s game to discuss his fate.
“However, as Jay Glazer of FOX has reported, Kelly will meet with ownership after Sunday’s game against the Seahawks. Kelly will have a chance to throw a verbal Hail Mary in an effort to get another year. It won’t be easy; a year ago, Colts coach Chuck Pagano somehow persuaded owner Jim Irsay to give Pagano a new four-year deal during a meeting that was supposed to be Pagano’s exit interview. It’s possible, theoretically, that Kelly will reverse months of criticism that G.M. Trent Baalke likely has been relaying to the powers-that-be and, in turn, persuade the 49ers to change their plans. It’s nevertheless highly, highly unlikely.”
With a record of 2-13, Kelly’s 49ers have been an embarrassment this season. After a victory against the Los Angeles Rams in the first week of the season, the 49ers went on to lose 13 games in a row. Last week on Christmas Eve, they snapped their 13-game losing streak with a victory over the Rams, but there is not exactly a lot of hope for the immediate future.
While Kelly was fairly successful with the Philadelphia Eagles from a record standpoint, he quickly wore out his welcome. After leading the Eagles to a record of 10-6 and an NFC East title in 2013, Kelly failed to qualify for the playoffs in his final two seasons with the team. In addition to not winning a playoff game in his three seasons with the Eagles, he also made numerous questionable roster moves.
In March of 2014, Kelly released Eagles star wide receiver DeSean Jackson. While reports came out regarding Jackson’s behavior off the field, nothing was ever proven. The following year, Kelly traded Eagles star running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for Kiko Alonso, and the move turned out to be a disaster for an offense that already lacked weapons. In addition to those questionable moves, Kelly also failed to re-sign wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, and the Eagles offense took numerous steps back. While Kelly was not officially the general manager during his tenure with the Eagles, it has been reported that he had a lot of influence regarding personnel decisions.
As Comcast SportsNet Bay Area reports, the 49ers have officially fired general manager Trent Baalke. While Kelly had much less influence over personnel decisions during his time with the 49ers than he did with the Eagles, his coaching philosophy may be becoming stale. After taking the league by storm in his first season with his up-tempo offense and sports science, it appears as though the league and defensive coordinators may have caught up.
After losing in the NFC Championship in 2013, the 49ers have only been getting worse. Kelly is the team’s third coach in the past three years, and it is difficult to establish a winning culture with the constant coaching and scheme changes. While Kelly is still likely to be fired, he will reportedly have an opportunity to present his case to ownership.
A victory today against the Seahawks will not change the 49ers season, but it could spoil things for Seattle. The Seahawks still have a chance to secure the No. 2 overall seed in the NFC with a win over the 49ers and a Falcons loss to the Saints. Whether or not a potential victory against the Seahawks could cause 49ers’ ownership to give Kelly another chance or not remains to be seen, but it definitely cannot hurt.
[Featured Image by Harry How/Getty Images]