NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport made an appearance on KNBR Thursday morning, and while he focused on the Raiders-Chiefs game, he was also asked about the San Francisco 49ers. More specifically, he was asked if Chip Kelly or Trent Baalke was on more solid ground with the organization. Rapoport had an interesting response.
I don’t really see Chip Kelly being in trouble at all. I know the record’s not good, but it’s just so interesting to me when, I talk to coaches around the league a lot, they’re very honest, often anonymous, and very honest, and they actually think the Niners are a pretty well-coached team. Now, they not good, obviously. The players are not good. But the actual coaching is good. They haven’t won a lot of games, but they look like they know what they’re doing and the staff is good. So, I don’t feel like Chip is in any danger. Trent Baalke might be in some danger. But again, that will play itself out. I know Trent has said himself, this falls on him, and if they go 3-13 or 2-14 or whatever, and he’s said what he’s said, I mean it’s tough not to point the finger at him especially when he’s already pointed the finger at himself.
The hosts followed up specifically asking about Jim O’Neil and whether or not his job is safe.
His defense is one of the phases of the game that people say they’re not good, but they actually look pretty good. And I know the results are one thing, and I’m not questioning the results, they are what they are, the team is not good. But, it just, when you look at the actual coaching, what the players are trying to do, what they have the ability to do, I just, I don’t see the coaching staff in as much danger as a lot of people.
Given how busy he is, it is hard for me to think he has seen a lot of 49ers games this season. He talked about coaches being very honest, and I would be curious to know who exactly is telling him all this. I’m not saying they are lying or blowing smoke, but it’s just a fascinating situation.
Will we see the 49ers let it ride with most of the existing coaching staff? We have heard multiple reports that suggest Kelly is not going anywhere this offseason. Will we see any other changes between now and then? I continue to think January could be a fascinating month for 49ers fans. At the same time, maybe we end up seeing not much change, and everybody loses their [site decorum].