Kelly ‘Very Comfortable’ With Relationship With His Players
Chip Kelly didn’t have any clothes.
That, and his dad’s birthday, kept him from meeting with the San Francisco media sooner, he said.
“I was offered the job last Thursday afternoon. I had no clothes. Just had a pair of sweats. Trent [Baalke] had visited me with Jed [York] when I was in New Hampshire. They asked me to come back out and I asked them kind of, ‘What’s the deal?’ And they said, ‘Just jump on a plane.’ So I did. And I really didn’t have any change of clothes,” Kelly explained.
“And then also, the most important part for me was last Saturday was my dad’s 87th birthday so I really wanted to get back home to see him, and Jed and Trent were great with that, and then I came back out on Sunday and we’ve been hitting the ground running ever since.”
With everything now in order and suit on, Kelly spoke publicly for the first time since being fired by the Eagles. He took that opportunity to thank Jeffrey Lurie for giving him the chance to coach in Philly.
“I left an organization that had great people that meant a real lot to me and were very supportive of me and I loved the players that I coached there,” he said, “but when you have an opportunity to do it again, it’s can you be aligned with the people that are running the organization?”
He said he’s found that in owner Jed York and general manager Trent Baalke, who he called a “football guy” just like him. That phrase, a go-to around the time that Howie Roseman was pushed out of power, was used by Kelly on several occasions at his 49ers introductory press conference as well. He fancies himself a football guy. He’s surrounded by football guys. All is well.
Kelly was asked about some of the players’ criticisms from his time with the Eagles.
“One of the things that struck me when I left Philadelphia was the text messages and calls from the players that we had there, really meant a lot to me. I’m not one that looks at what’s reported, what’s not reported. I’m a pretty black and white guy, and when I talk about the relationships I had with the players there, and the many of them that reached out to me when this went down, I feel very, very comfortable with my relationship with my players there.”
When asked about Lurie’s intimation that Kelly lacked “emotional intelligence”, Baalke joked that he would have to look up the meaning of that term, and said it was good to have Tom Gamble in the building to help separate perception from reality when it came to their new head coach.
As for the self-analysis that Kelly has done since being let go by the Eagles?
“If you’re a coach, after every game you self-scout. After every season, you self scout what we did well, what we did poorly, how can we improve as a team, and I was in the process of that. I don’t think it was a self-scout to me, probably because I got fired I looked at it more of an autopsy. I’m in the middle of the autopsy still looking at it. Sent some toxicology reports out, we’re going to see when they come back, I’ll give you a full answer in terms of what went on.”
— Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News has some details about how payment for the remainder of Kelly’s Eagles contract will be split.
Jed York would not comment on the 49ers’ share of Kelly’s first two contracted seasons. He had more than $13M left on his Eagles deal…
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) January 20, 2016
But when I asked Kelly about the first two seasons, he said it was pretty balanced between the Eagles and 49ers. Figure on about $3M apiece. — Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) January 20, 2016