San Francisco 49ers formally introduce head coach Chip Kelly

ByABC7 Staff KGO logo
Thursday, January 21, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York and general manager Trent Baalke formally introduced Chip Kelly as the team's new head coach on Wednesday.

At the press conference Baalke said, "We feel very good about the direction we're taking."

"I'm excited to be here. I'm excited to work with Trent. I'm excited to work with Jed," said Kelly.

Six days after the team announced the hiring of Kelly, the 49ers held a press conference to introduce him and there was a reason for the delay. The 49ers' 19th head coach in team history, wanted to celebrate his dad's 87th birthday causing the delay in his introduction, but 49er CEO Jed York claims it was worth the wait.

"We've been working tirelessly to get the 49ers back to championship form. The first big step is hiring the right head coach and I couldn't be more excited than to hire Chip Kelly as the new head coach of the San Francisco 49ers," said York.

Kelly also said he was humbled to be selected as head coach and is proud of the 49ers history.

"It's really humbling to stand here as the 19th head coach of the San Francisco 49ers -- to me, the preeminent organization in the National Football League. There's always been a statement I've always thought about is that, 'We can see farther today because of the shoulders that we stand on of the people that came before us.' When you look at the rich history and tradition of this organization, it's second to none," said Kelly. "When you walk down Bill Walsh Way -- one of the, if not the greatest -- coaches to ever coach this game and then you go in the lobby and see the five Super Bowl trophies and you understand what this organization is all about."

Baalke, who many thought might have a tough time working with Kelly, feels like he's looking in the mirror. He said, "He's driven. He's passionate and the one thing that really came forward is his respect for the game, both past and present."

The million dollar question is if Colin Kaepernick will be his quarterback. Kelly met with Kaepernick this week, but said the discussion was informal and not geared around football.

"Obviously, Kaepernick is an extremely good football player and you need to have a good quarterback to win, but I was also impressed in the film that I watched, in terms of how Blaine played this year also. So I think both of those players made this an attractive situation," Kelly explained.

Kelly said he understands the pressure he will face through the season.

"I'm not governed by the fear of what other people say. I have conviction in terms of how things are supposed to get done, the collaboration that has to go on within the organization to be successful," said Kelly.

Kelly is replacing fired coach Jim Tomsula. Kelly emerged as the favorite among several experienced candidates that included former Raiders, Broncos and Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, ex-Giants coach Tom Coughlin and former Raiders coach Hue Jackson. Kelly was fired by the Philadelphia Eagles a week before the end of his third season with the team.

With the introduction out of the way, Kelly will now concentrate on his coaching staff and hopefully to hit the ground running in 2016.

READ MORE: ABC7 Sports Director Larry Beil says Chip Kelly hire is 'bold move' by 49ers

As news first broke last week of this recent move by the 49ers, ABC7 News Sports Director Larry Beil gave his insight saying, "I think this is a really, really bold move by the 49ers. It's either going to work and be fantastic, or a complete disaster because Chip Kelly is kind of a polarizing guy. It sends a lot of messages and the first one is that owner Jed York is taking back his team and telling Trent Baalke, 'I'm running this,' because Chip Kelly's football philosophies are totally the exact opposite of what Trent Baalke would like in running style offense of controlling the ball."

He went onto say, "Chip is a brilliant offensive football mind. But the question is - if you could not get along with Jim Harbaugh, how are you going to get along with Chip Kelly? Because neither one of them will suffer any fools. Things are going to be different for the 49ers; a totally different offense. And the one thing you have to wonder is if this will bring Colin Kaepernick back into the fold as the potential 49ers quarterback."

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