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Damien Woody thinks the problems are on Chip Kelly not adapting his system

Do we blame the system? The quarterback? both? Neither?

The San Francisco 49ers’ poor performance on Thursday Night Football is the talk of the town (OK, maybe not entirely), with time between now and Sunday providing plenty of time for it to marinate with the media. On Friday morning, former NFL center Damien Woody chimed in about the 49ers offensive woes. You can listen to the full thing on ESPN Radio, and I have transcribed his full comments down below.

Woody was asked what he would do at this point in terms of potentially benching Blaine Gabbert for Colin Kaepernick. Woody made it clear that he does not think either quarterback is good, and instead places the blame on Chip Kelly for not adapting his system to his personnel.

I’m a little confused by his comments because I don’t know what exactly Kelly can do to prevent Blaine Gabbert from over- or under-throwing open wide receivers. I don’t know exactly what adjustment Kelly can make to prevent Gabbert from under-throwing Torrey Smith.

I’m not here to say Kelly calls a perfect game-plan, but to place the blame on him for Gabbert’s struggles, while declaring Gabbert isn’t a good quarterback? What exactly does he expect from Kelly? Carlos Hyde is on pace for over 1,200 rushing yards and 1,400 combined yards. A year ago, Kelly badly misused DeMarco Murray. Hyde is having to do a lot of grinding for these yards, but we’re seeing the 49ers find positive ways of using him. Jeremy Kerley is on pace for 972 yards. Not exactly ideal, but the 49ers have found ways to get him the ball.

I know we have people here who think Chip Kelly is a bad head coach, and an awful game planner. I don’t know the split, but it’s there. I just wonder what exactly could be adjusted in the game plan to account for a quarterback with serious accuracy issues. Colin Kaepernick is not necessarily the answer. His own accuracy is a question mark. But to pivot straight to blaming Kelly for not adjusting his system? I don’t think it’s quite that simple.

Here are Woody’s full comments.

On what he would do at this point:

"I don't think the problem is Blaine Gabbert or Colin Kaepernick. I think the problem is Chip Kelly. Here’s what I’m talking about. If you don't have the personnel to run your system, good head coaching to me, is you adapt your system to your personnel.

"Chip ran the same system in Philly. He’s brought in here to San Francisco. And it’s pretty much, it's the same old, same old. One thing we talked about, one bugaboo that was talked about in Philadelphia was the time of possession. They were like one of the worst teams in the league in time of possession. You can't win that way in the National Football League. At Oregon, you can do that because you have better, you have more players, better athletes, but in the National Football League, you can't win that way. Well, he goes to San Francisco and what's going on? First quarter of the season, they're 31st in time of possession.

"To me, I question Chip Kelly. This quote unquote 'offensive genius,' can you adapt to your personnel instead of trying to make guys who are square pegs into a round hole. That's not good coaching to me.”

On Kaepernick being the guy for his system:

But listen, I would say that, people go off of that, people think that because of his past success that he had with Jim Harbaugh, and obviously the athletic ability. But listen, coaches, players, they watch practice. They know. If he was clearly better than Blaine Gabbert, he would be playing. So I just think, right now it has more so to do with the coach being able to adapt to his personnel, rather than us sitting here arguing about Blaine Gabbert or Colin Kaepernick. Neither quarterback is good, in my mind.”