Chip Kelly Comments on College Rumors, Future with 49ers

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistOctober 20, 2016

San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly watches the action during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)
Bill Wippert/Associated Press

With the San Francisco 49ers continuing to sink toward rock-bottom, head coach Chip Kelly is already being forced to answer questions about his future with the team and potential openings in college football.

Per Jerry McDonald of the Mercury News, Kelly declared he has no intention of leaving the 49ers.

“Unless the media has an opportunity for me somewhere, I’ll always explore those opportunities,” Kelly said Thursday. “But I’m not going anywhere.”

Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com ignited the Kelly-to-college rumors Wednesday by reporting many of Kelly's peers don't anticipate his staying with the 49ers' sinking ship for long (warning: contains NSFW language):

Kelly's offense continues to be ridiculed by his peers in the NFL, and several coaches I spoke to expect him to hit the eject seat button after this season and return to college before his stock continues to drop given the horrible roster he has in San Francisco.

"He just keeps running the same s--t and it isn't fooling anybody," one NFL executive said. "Do you think they could bring him back to Oregon?"

Most of the major colleges will likely wait until the season comes to a close to fire their head coaches, though one of the biggest and best jobs in the nation has already been made available.

LSU fired Les Miles after a 2-2 start to the 2016 campaign. The Tigers have struggled for years to adapt their offense to the modern game, as ESPN.com's Chris Low noted:

Miles loves physical, shove-it-down-your-throat offense. He loves fullbacks and tight ends and running the football. There was a time during his career when that style was good enough to remain nationally relevant, particularly with the way the Tigers recruited under Miles.

But as the college game started to change, Miles dug his heels deeper in the Louisiana soil, and while everybody else was spreading it out, running tempo, finding ways to be creative and scoring points, Miles was still trying to do it his way. The hard way.

For all of Kelly's faults as an NFL head coach, he was a master at finding and developing offensive talent during his tenure with the Oregon Ducks. His teams never averaged less than 36.1 points per game in four seasons at Oregon.

Kelly is in the first year of a four-year, $24 million deal he signed with the 49ers. His team is off to a 1-5 start in which they have been outscored by a combined 185-99 since shutting out the Los Angeles Rams 28-0 in the season opener.

The 49ers have made head coaching changes after each of the last two seasons, parting ways with Jim Harbaugh following the 2014 season and firing Jim Tomsula after last season.

For the sake of stability, it might be in the 49ers' best interest for Kelly to sick around. They are paying him a lot of money, but if the season keeps trending down in San Francisco, it could be an interesting winter in the Bay Area.

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