When the Cavaliers fired David Blatt, I posted a blog asking if he should have been hired in the first place and my answer was “no.” Well, let’s fast forward to football and the hiring and firing of Chip Kelly by the Philadelphia Eagles and the recent hiring by San Francisco.
In order to properly answer the question, we need to look at his level of experience and the strategy the 49ers are putting in place, if any. Prior to being hired by the Eagles, Kelly had never coached or played on any level in the NFL. Does that mean he can’t succeed in the NFL? Not at all but his success hinges on whether the 49ers management has a “win-now” mentality or if they’re willing to truly rebuild. Prior to being hired by the Eagles, he was the head coach of Oregon from 2009 to 2012 and prior to becoming the head coach of Oregon he was the offensive coordinator for Oregon from 2007 to 2008. He was an offensive coordinator, quarterback coach etc. at other universities. Food for thought: Jimmy Johnson came to the Cowboys without any NFL experience and was ultimately very successful, so it can happen.
When Kelly was hired as the head coach of the Eagles, they were a winning organization under Coach Andy Reid. Instead of building on what Andy Reid had already put in place he tore it down. He failed miserably in Philly because he wasn’t smart like Barry Switzer and the Cowboys organization when he took over the Cowboys after Jimmy Johnson was fired. Barry Switzer made very few changes and won a Super Bowl as a result of continuing what was working. There is a lot to be said for the old saying “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Unfortunately, that’s not the case in San Francisco, the organization is a train wreck and pieces are scattered all over the place. Premier players have either retired, left in free agency or just quit because the management is so poor. The powers that be in San Francisco can learn a lot from what the Cowboys did when Jimmy Johnson was hired.
If the 49ers management wants Chip Kelly to be successful they need to follow the example set by Dallas when Tom Landry was fired and Jimmy Johnson was hired. Dallas was not winning when Jimmy Johnson came on board in 1989 but Jerry Jones stayed the course. Troy Aikman was drafted in 1989 and the Cowboys won one (1) game that season but Johnson saw the potential in Aikman and the organization stood behind Troy. Michael Irving was drafted in 1988 so they had a good receiver in place. Over the next couple of years, the Cowboys organization kept plugging away. The trade with Minnesota was the smartest move ever made because the Cowboys were able to get premiere draft picks as a result. The trade with Minnesota in October 1989 allowed Dallas to ultimately draft Emmitt Smith. Now Dallas has its, quarterback, receivers, running back, offensive line and defensive line and the makings of a dynasty. As a result of staying the course Jimmy Johnson and the Cowboys won back-to-back Super Bowls.
The 49ers are fortunate and don’t recognize it. They have a young talented quarterback in Kap. They need to go out and draft receivers, a good running back, build the offensive and defensive lines and see what happens. If San Francisco has a rebuilding mentality Chip Kelly and the organization will be successful. If San Francisco has a “win-now” mentality Chip Kelly will fail. The 49ers must recognize that they have done a disservice to Kap and the organization by not recognizing that they have a quality young athletic quarterback to build around for the future. This was proven under Coach Harbaugh’s leadership. The reason Harbaugh succeeded in the 49ers “win-now” mentality is because he was a player in the NFL under Mike Ditka and he had previous NFL work experience, neither of which Kelly has, except his failure in Philly. Harbaugh was also successful because he had a veteran squad, he didn’t get rid of everybody and he found a young quarterback to build around.
The 49ers organization has to be willing to put in the time with Chip Kelly. They need to put a three (3) to five (5) plan in place. Regardless of what the media says, Kap is a very talented quarterback and the 49ers management must come out and publicly show support for him, if they want to retain him and be real about it. Don’t speak with a forked tongue in the press.
They need to draft quality receivers, not get them in free agency and the reason for that is the players will be more loyal to the organization and Kap, which is critical in a rebuilding phase. If the 49ers organization is not willing to stay the course, Chip Kelly will fail again.
Kelly’s short NFL experience was a disaster but he can bounce back. However, the key to being successful is knowing how to be respectful of the players and their opinions. These are not college athletes and he has to understand the difference. Nick Saban is a prime example of a coach that couldn’t cut it in the NFL because he was unable to work with men. Kelly had an over inflated ego when he went to Philly and it proved to be his undoing. Example: During the Arizona game, the Eagles 4th and inches he goes for it and doesn’t put DeMarco Murray in the game, seriously?
Kelly is no Pete Carroll or Jim Harbaugh and in my opinion his skillset is better suited for college not the NFL. He is learning how to be an NFL head coach on the fly. Honestly, I would love it, if he proved me wrong. There are a number of poorly run NFL Clubs and the 49ers are at the top of the food chain, so hiring Chip Kelly is just “par for the course.” That said, if the organization is willing to give him time to learn and build the team around Kap, he might have a chance at being successful.
NFL TEAMS WILL CONTINUE TO BE UNSUCCESSFUL OR HAVE MINIMAL SUCCESS IF THEY CONTINUE THE COACH/QB CAROUSEL!!!!