Chip Kelly on role with 49ers: ‘I want to just coach football’
Chip Kelly quickly landed on his feet after his dismissal as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, being hired by the San Francisco 49ers.
And for the first time since his ouster, Kelly on Wednesday finally addressed the sudden and arguably surprising end to his tenure in Philadelphia during his introductory presser with the 49ers.
Despite several Eagles coming out and at least subtly ripping their former head coach following his firing, Kelly insisted he enjoyed a good relationship with his players, despite one former Eagle saying he was “universally despised” in the locker room.
“One of the things that struck me when I left Philadelphia was the texts and calls I got from the players there,” he said, via NJ.com “Many reached out to me. I feel very, very comfortable with the relationship I had with my players there.”
Kelly nevertheless said that valuable lessons can be gleaned from how things devolved during his time with the Eagles.
“I think you can always apply what you learn from your experiences,” he said.
Kelly of course was fired on Dec. 29, a few days before the Eagles’ season finale. It’s believed that part of what doomed Kelly was how he had assumed some control over team personnel, leading to some perceived friction between himself and general manager Howie Roseman.
Kelly appeared to take a shot at Roseman when he was asked about working with 49ers general manager Trent Baalke. The new Niners coach referred to Baalke as a “football guy,” whereas Roseman was considered more of a numbers-cruncher.
Still, despite the upheaval and the arguable failings of Kelly in his attempts to assume more control with the Eagles, he insists he’s ready to assume a more basic role with the 49ers.
“I wanted to be in a situation where I can just coach,” he said. “I want to just coach football. I’m excited about being in a situation where I can just coach.”