The coming year will feature plenty of discussion and speculation about how Chip Kelly and Trent Baalke will get along. It will take some time to figure it out, but in the meantime, we get sound bytes. The latest comes from a brief discussion Trent Baalke had with SI NFL writer Peter King. It was included in King's weekly Monday Morning Quarterback column.
King focused first on the connection Tom Gamble provides to Kelly and Baalke. King said Baalke told him Gamble "was the key man in turning San Francisco on to Kelly."
"I talked to my most trusted agent, Tom Gamble, and I got the answers to every question I had," said Baalke. "All I had to do was ask Tom. That drove the decision-making process as much as anything. Actually, there's some similarities with Chip's situation [in Philadelphia] and what I've gone through here. You're valued one way, say, three years ago, and now you're valued a totally different way today [by the public and media]."
It is intriguing the way he acknowledges a certain awareness of his own status in San Francisco. It has been a rough couple of years for the 49ers, and Baalke's drafts have had plenty of misses to go with hits. The red shirt strategy in particular remains a question. There is a chance some of these guys will work out, but it is not exactly off to the best of starts dating back to 2013.
Baalke faces a lot of pressure in 2016. He is signed through 2018, so it remains to be seen just how much of a hot seat he faces, but he would seemingly be highest on the list of people that could face blame if the 49ers struggle this season. I don't think it takes a lot to recognize that, but it's still notable he would mention it in a discussion with a media member.