The San Francisco 49ers introduced Chip Kelly to the media on Wednesday, and it is safe to say this was a much more successful press conference than Jim Tomsula's introduction. There were more complete sentences and much less sweating, at least visibly. From the sly smile on Trent Baalke's face, we could tell the introduction of Chip Kelly as the 49ers 19th head coach was a success in the eyes of the organization.
Absent from this press conference was talk of banners and winning with class, but there were a few key words and phrases that will undoubtedly be heard throughout the 2016 season. The first of those words was vision. One of the main reasons why Kelly was hired: his vision. Jed York opened up the press conference and included this statement:
It was very clear to Trent and I that Chip's vision was above the rest. It was the best fit for the 49ers. He's going to be able to take us to where we want to go.
Trent Baalke was up next and added this comment:
At the end of the day this was a fairly easy decision. It was evident early on in our conversations with Chip, that he shared a very similar vision to us in respect to the direction of this football team.
Chip Kelly on having confidence in following in the footsteps of former 49ers HC Jim Harbaugh:
I was confident in meeting with Trent and Jed about what the vision and focus of this organization was.
A subject that was brought up several times last season was the identity of the team. Did the team even have an identity? Did it need one? It previously had been the run stopping, beat you in the trenches defense with a hard running offense. Last year the team was lacking an identity and in essence was without a vision. It appears that this season is at least starting out differently.
Another word of the day: synergy. Kelly mentioned that it was something that he has already felt.
In the short time that I've been here, I've just been struck by the synergy that goes through this building in terms of how everybody is on a quest to win the Super Bowl and not just in a long term facet but on a daily basis.
Baalke also used the term when discussing the how both he and Kelly have good working relationships with Tom Gamble:
That's a nice bridge when you have a guy that you trust and he's able to basically give you the lay of the land with respect to the relationship that he had in the building in Philly and obviously knew me and how I operate and had no doubt that we'd have good synergy. It was evident early on.
Collaborative was also as word used more than once:
When asked about the pressure that the job brings, Kelly explained:
I have conviction in terms of how things are supposed to be done, the collaboration that has to go on within the organization for you to be successful. And if there's going to be a critic of that because they don't agree with it or they don't understand it, then I can't change.
In regards to mistakes made over the last year regarding personnel decisions:
I think everybody makes mistakes. No one has a perfect day, no one has a perfect season. To me, it's just the lines of communication and are they collaborative in terms of where you are?
The most popular phrase of the the day: football guy. Kelly is a football guy. Baalke is a football guy. (Howie Roseman who was the GM for 2 of Kelly's 3 year tenure in Philadelphia was not a football guy)
Trent Baalke on Chip:
He's a well rounded, highly innovative coach with a proven track record of success at every level, at every level of competition, including the NFL. Identified as a strong leader of men and somebody that I really consider a true football guy. He's driven. He's passionate. And the one thing that really came forward is his respect for the game, both past and present.
Chip Kelly on Trent:
Trent's a football guy, and I like to think I'm a football guy. He's a grinder. He loves the game. He loves everything about the game. I love everything about the game. I can't tell you what a blast it's been in the last 2 weeks just talking football talking vision. Talking, how do you see this, how do you see that and to be able to collaboratively work with someone like that in terms of building this team.
For the time being, the two football guys are quite fond of each other. There was much talk of cooperation while still clarifying that Baalke will be in charge of the 53 man roster. We will see how long the honeymoon lasts but if Tom Gamble can become the Carmen Policy of the 49ers modern era, they may be on to something.