Pretty dead out there in the land of football yappity-yap. The great dead zone of February is upon us.
New HC Chip Kelly probably can’t believe his luck. Hounded out of Philadelphia at the end of the 2015 season, considered unemployable by any other NFL team, and suddenly he’s got the easiest HC gig in the league — following in the footsteps of Jim Tomsula, the worst coach in the league last year, and arguably the worst ever. How can Kelly possibly fail?
No, whatever shortcomings the 2016 49ers have will be laid at the feet of GM Trent Baalke. How flimsy is Baalke’s credibility? A year after helping engineer the ouster of Jim Harbaugh, Baalke now tries to embellish himself by admitting hiring Tomsula was a mistake, but hiring Haubaugh was a big win. Lame doesn’t even get close to describing this sort of tortured, hypocritical self-aggrandizement.
It’s a common perception that Baalke does poorly drafting offensive players, but excels when drafting defensive guys. But is that really the case? Maybe it’s more that he is so dreadful on offense that a few decent players for the defense seems mighty in comparison. Maybe he just isn’t very good at drafting period.
To the extent that Baalke’s rep is connected more to the performance of the defense, it’s fair to assume that hiring Kelly was not his choice. It was Jed York‘s. And with Tom Gamble installed as Senior Personnel Executive and known to have a good relationship with Kelly, it looks like Baalke will finally be on the hot seat as Niner GM.