Chip Kelly to 49ers: Key Takeaways from Coach's Introductory Press Conference

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2016

January 20, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Chip Kelly addresses the media in a press conference after being introduced as the new head coach for the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium Auditorium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

One week after the San Francisco 49ers announced Chip Kelly would be the 19th head coach in franchise history, the 52-year-old had his introductory press conference Wednesday to address everything associated with his new job.   

The new San Francisco brain trust took to the stage for a photo-op that fans hope will be a successful marriage, per Josh Paunil of Philadelphia Magazine:

Speaking first, per Jennifer Chan of, 49ers CEO Jed York said Kelly's "vision was above the rest."

Following York's opening statements, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said the decision to hire Kelly was "easy," per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle:

Kelly was then introduced to the stage and endeared himself to fans in San Francisco by calling the 49ers "the pre-eminent franchise in football," and he said he was "struck by the synergy" in the building, per Around the NFL.

Taking a look back at his three-year run with the Philadelphia Eagles, per Jason La Canfora of, Kelly admitted he's still going over what happened:

Per Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle, Kelly did say "many" of his former players in Philadelphia reached out to him by text after he was fired. 

Per Ian Rapoport of, the first question Kelly took was about quarterback Colin Kaepernick:

The second question Kelly was asked involved a report from Rapoport last week about trying to trade for Kaepernick while he was with the Eagles, per Mindi Bach of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area:

Looking at San Francisco's quarterback situation, per the 49ers' official Twitter account, Kelly was high on Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert:

Even though Kaepernick will be the big story for San Francisco moving forward, since his injury-protected contract doesn't become fully guaranteed until April 1, Kelly noted he has spoken with multiple players on the 49ers roster, including NaVorro Bowman, Joe Staley and Carlos Hyde, per Chan

Taking a big-picture perspective of the 49ers current roster, Kelly said he would be withholding any judgment until he sees them in person because there's a different feel than watching them on film, per Chan

There were questions about what took so long for the 49ers to have their press conference to introduce Kelly, which he said was the result of not having a change of clothes and his father's birthday last weekend, per Bob Grotz of the Delaware County Daily Times

Kelly settled any debate over who will be calling the plays on offense, per Matt Maiocco of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area:

In terms of working with Baalke to form a 53-man roster, Kelly had no problem ceding that power to San Francisco's general manager, per Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group:

That's a drastic change for Kelly, as Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer noted he got immediate roster control when the Eagles hired him. 

Baalke discussed the process of being able to work with Kelly to bring the 49ers back into contention, per the team's official Twitter account:

On the subject of his expectations for next season, per La Canfora, Kelly said he was "not going to make any predictions, but the goal is to make playoffs every year."

Expanding on that thought, per La Canfora, he said he's excited "to be a part of" a 49ers team that is prepared well for the future. San Francisco is set up well in terms of cap space, with projecting the team to have $53.6 million in cap space for 2016 and $61.5 million for 2017. 

Kelly's uptempo system has been scrutinized for the way it seems to force his defense on the field a lot, though he didn't seem concerned about criticisms of his style, per the 49ers' official Twitter account:

It's been a rough two years for 49ers fans. Jim Harbaugh went to Michigan after the 2014 season, and the retirements of Patrick Willis, Chris Borland and Justin Smith followed soon after.

The brief Jim Tomsula era turned into a disaster quickly, so the 49ers were right back where they started when the 2015 season ended. 

Kelly has a lot of work ahead of him to get the 49ers back into the top tier of NFL teams, but his first day with the media was a rousing success. He seemed to understand where the roster is and what needs to happen for a quick turnaround. 

It's just one day, but for the first time over the last 12 months, the 49ers feel like they are back on the right track.