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NFL head coach power ranking considers Chip Kelly higher than some

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Chip Kelly has received plenty of criticism for his personnel decisions. But if we consider him just as a coach, maybe he belongs a little higher.

The San Francisco 49ers did not do a whole lot in free agency, but they made a serious splash in changing coaches. The team fired Jim Tomsula, and hired recently fired Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. The Eagles fired Kelly in large part because of personality conflicts. The team went 10-6 his first two seasons, and 7-9 in year three. That was not ideal, but the conflicts over personnel power made it easier for the Eagles to dump Kelly.

The 49ers hired Kelly to coach, and nothing more. Trent Baalke has clear control of personnel power, which hopefully removes some of the headaches Kelly and the Eagles dealt with last year. And while plenty of people are skeptical about Kelly, it is sort of reflected in a recent NFL.com power ranking of coaches. NFL analyst Elliott Harrison ranked out all 32 NFL head coaches, and he ranked Kelly No. 20. Here is what he had to say about Kelly:

For the flurry of criticism that found its way to Kelly, does anyone realize he was fired short of finishing his third year ... with a 26-21 record? Never mind that the Philly squad he took over had gone 4-12 in the season before his arrival. The issue for Kelly has been twofold: A) The buzz around his revolutionizing the pace of the game (or inability to do the same) blurred the lines of what defines a successful tenure; and B) his personnel decisions. Take him to task all you want on the latter, but if we're talking strictly coaching, hasn't he earned this opportunity with the 49ers?

Here is how the coaches worse than Kelly ranked:

21. Jim Caldwell, Lions
22. Todd Bowles, Jets
23. Mike McCoy, Chargers
24. Jay Gruden, Washington
25. Hue Jackson, Browns
26. Dan Quinn, Falcons
27. Gus Bradley, Jaguars
28. Ben McAdoo, Giants
29. Dirk Koetter, Bucs
30. Adam Gase, Dolphins
31. Mike Mularkey, Titans
32. Doug Pederson, Eagles

Pederson has no head coaching experience, and he’s in a tough position in Philadelphia. The team extended Sam Bradford, spent big backup money on Chase Daniel, and then moved up to draft Carson Wentz. Creating quarterback confusion for 2016 does not exactly help Pederson. I imagine at least a couple of these coaches will be climbing the ladder in a similar poll next year, but each faces varying question marks. Todd Bowles in particular is in a tough position if Ryan Fitzpatrick does not return in 2016, while the Jaguars are a team many see taking a step forward this season.