SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Thursday, on the Philadelphia radio station 97.5 The Fanatic, Brian Baldinger shared that he’s heard a rift has already developed between newly minted 49ers head coach Chip Kelly and the team’s general manager Trent Baalke.
Kelly is freshly removed from what can easily be described as a cancerous relationship with the ownership of the Philadelphia Eagles — during last month’s meeting of NFL owners, Kelly described the relationship as “weird” with Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, and that he wasn’t fond of the direction the team was headed.
“It was a weird situation,” Kelly said of working with Roseman. “I didn’t like the direction it was headed. I didn’t think we were on the same page.”
Since Kelly’s tenure with San Francisco has begun, the team has been parading to the public its decision on what to do with embattled quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Representatives of the former Super Bowl starter approached Baalke during the NFL Scouting Combine for permission to seek a trade, just hours after both he and Kelly said the 28-year-old was part of the team’s future plans.
It’s possible that Kelly and Baalke haven’t seen eye-to-eye on what the team should do with Kaepernick — Kelly previously had personnel control while serving as head coach of the Eagles, something he hasn’t been granted in San Francisco.
However, Kelly also spoke about the team’s personnel department at the owners meetings, and sung praises of Baalke.
“I think our personnel department is outstanding,” Kelly said. “Trent’s got such a good grasp on this league. He’s been in it so long. He’s got a great feel for how to put together a team. Three years ago, San Francisco was on the 5-yard line with a chance to win the Super Bowl. He’s proven he can acquire talent and put talent out on the field. And I’ve known Trent for a long time.”
Mike Florio, of NBC’s Pro Football Talk, chimed in on the reports, saying they are a non-issue. At least for the time being. Before Florio got started, he prefaced his report by saying his only intention of addressing the issue was due to the amount of reader submissions he was receiving on the topic.
“NFL analysts hear a lot of things. And just because they hear things, it doesn’t mean those things they hear are accurate. So I’ll wait until a reporter from NFL Network or ESPN or FOX Sports or CSNBayArea.com or the Sacramento Bee or the Bay Area News Group or the San Francisco Chronicle reports this before concluding that it’s true. Or I’ll wait until I’ve heard the same something from a sufficiently reliable source or sources.”
In closing, Florio writes:
“While it may be inevitable that problems arise between a coach and G.M. whose marriage feels like a ceremony that involved a shotgun, it seems too early for problems to arise, especially since Kelly is smart enough to realize that he needs to conduct himself differently than he did in Philadelphia.”
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