The San Francisco 49ers have a potentially unique weapon in the form of wide receiver Bruce Ellington, but at times he has felt underutilized. Some of that is some of his own struggles, but at times it has felt like the coaching staff was not interested in getting too creative with him.
Enter Chip Kelly. The new head coach had a wide-ranging discussion with 49ers media on Thursday, and he touched on Ellington. You can read the various articles by Cam Inman, Matt Maiocco, and Matt Barrows. Here is what he had to say in brief:
"What really is Bruce Ellington? When you look at just the short time that I've seen just film of him you're like ‘Wow.' That kid can do some interesting things," Kelly said. "And it's our job to figure out how we can use that to benefit us to help us win games."
The 49ers have Ellington under contract for two more seasons. He has emerged as the primary return man, although Jarryd Hayne will likely push him for that role in training camp. The key is getting more use out of the versatile Ellington. In his rookie year, we saw the team try him at wide receiver and running back. This suggestion popped up with Matt Barrows:
I had the same thought. DuJuan Harris also could fill a similar role. https://t.co/2BO1cW7gmt— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) February 26, 2016
I don't know if it will be specifically something like a Sproles role, but I have to think that Chip Kelly can think of more ideas in the first ten seconds after the mention of Ellington, than any of last year's coaching staff could do given a full season. I think he's a dynamic talent, and am excited about this coaching staff exploring more ways to utilize him.