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Mike Silver comments on 49ers pursuits of Chip Kelly, Hue Jackson, Sean Payton

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NFL Network reporter Mike Silver spoke with KNBR writer Kevin Jones earlier this week, and he chimed in on a variety of issues related to the San Francisco 49ers head coach search. He said the 49ers were essentially all-in on their pursuit of Chip Kelly, but that they could have had a better shot at other coaches with the right kind of push.

Hue Jackson

Silver has a close relationship with Hue Jackson, dating back to the latter's time with the Oakland Raiders. Silver was the one tweeting out all sorts of details during the 49ers and Browns reported pursuit of Jackson. In looking back on the process, he thinks the 49ers could have had the inside track on Jackson if they had really wanted him. He had this to say:

"Because they had that first interview, they went first and Cleveland went second after the Bengals season ended that day. And with Hue's California ties and feelings about that organization, I believe that if the 49ers had really wanted him and decisively wanted him early, they would've had a chance to preemptively make that move."

There has been some question about what the 49ers might or might not have wanted in pursuit of Jackson. There was some speculation that Colin Kaepernick might have played some part. The idea that Trent Baalke wanted to move on to Blaine Gabbert, and Jackson might have pushed on playing Kaepernick. It's just speculation, but given the problematic relationship between Kaepernick and the 49ers front office, that is certainly one possibility. It is also entirely possible the 49ers just wanted Chip Kelly, and that's that, but we'll never know for certain.

Sean Payton, David Shaw

The 49ers were briefly connected to both Sean Payton and David Shaw. Silver says "[t]hey could've gone stronger for David Shaw - I believe there was a tiny door open there. They could've gone stronger for Sean Payton, that door closed." He does not go into what "could've gone stronger" entails. It is easy to assume it's a money thing, but it could also be a personnel power issue as well. We're left to speculate. I tweeted at Silver about what this entails, so we'll see if he responds.

Chip Kelly

Amidst all of this, Silver said he is "not a big Chip Kelly guy." He pointed to Payton, Shaw, and Jackson, and also seemed to suggest Mike Shanahan would have been a better option. He also mentioned the switch we saw last year when it seemed like Adam Gase was going to get the job, and then Jim Tomsula ended up with the job. He had this to say about Kelly:

"I thought when he got fired in Philly and Jeffery Lurie, an owner I really, really respect, went out and basically debunked Chip Kelly's lies about how he didn't try and seize power. And Jeffery Lurie said, ‘No he completely demanded power, we gave it to him and it blew up.' And then he said publicly, ‘We're looking for a coach with emotional intelligence.' Emotional intelligence is not an insignificant term to me. Because it's one thing to have a cool system with plays and understand offenses, but managing people is a big, big deal."

Until we get to the regular season, and really, until (or if) we see some kind of success from the Chip Kelly-led 49ers, there will be plenty of chatter about whether or not he can succeed in the NFL on a sustained basis. The Philly stuff is going to remain a part of the discussion for the short term. It is entirely possible this arrangement does not work out. It's foolish to automatically assume it will work out. At the same time, if Kelly finds some success in year one, some folks will say, well, wait to see what happens in year two.

So basically, no matter what happens this season, Chip chatter is not going anywhere anytime soon. Good times, and I'll see you next offseason!