San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly is expected to be fired at some point in the very near future, and so that meant his Sunday post-game press conference might be his final press conference with the 49ers. Kelly said he is set to meet with CEO Jed York after the game, and so we should get some kind of answer sooner rather than later as to his status moving forward.
Kelly discussed all the rumors, what it was like to coach under these circumstances, and how his players handled it. He went into some detail about what he learned this season, and what’s next. We’ll have a transcript later tonight or tomorrow, but in the meantime, here is video of Kelly’s press conference.
Fooch’s update: Transcript added below.
Chip Kelly in what may be his last press conference as #49ers head coachPosted by Niners Nation: A San Francisco 49ers Blog on Sunday, January 1, 2017
Based on your conversations with 49ers CEO Jed York how do you, where do you understand your job status right now?
“We’re supposed to have a meeting today after the game.”
You obviously heard the reports last night. What was your reaction when you heard that you’re expected to be fired?
“I don’t really have a reaction to that. I’ll just deal with what’s my conversation with Jed. I think that’s the most important thing.”
Is it disappointing to hear it come out like that if it is indeed--?
“That stuff doesn’t bother me. I don’t control what goes out there, what doesn’t go out there. I just deal with, I’m a face-to-face guy.”
And what is your--?
“It’s supposed to be after the game.”
That has not been yet, obviously?
“No. We just finished in the locker room.”
When did you learn that 49ers general manager Trent Baalke would be fired?
“I didn’t learn that Trent Baalke was fired. I was just called last night. I heard the same reports and Jed just talked to me briefly and said that we would talk today. So, I haven’t.”
So, no one has still told you that Trent Baalke was fired?
Have you talked to Jed York?
“I talked to Jed last night.”
Did you call him?
“He called me and left a voicemail. Then I called him back.”
What was the tone of that conversation?
“It was monotone. Are there any other types of tone? It was just a normal conversation.”
It was described by some outlets as ‘Not warm and fuzzy.’
“Is the NSA listening in on our phones? How does that come out? No, it wasn’t at all. It was a nice conversation. He said we’ll talk after the game.”
Would you be surprised or are you disappointed if you wouldn’t be coming back next year?
“I don’t think anything surprises me. I don’t live my life, I live my life in vision not circumstances. I control what I can control. What we can control is how we coach our players and what we did with them. If that’s good enough, that’s good enough. If it’s not good enough, so be it. I’m proud of the way our guys played today.”
Do you think this team is on the right track?
“What was that?”
Do you believe this team, this organization is on the right track?
“We’ll get into that after I figure out what’s going on. Anybody want to talk about the Seahawks game?”
What’d you think about the Seahawks?
“I thought the turnovers were a big factor in the football game. The 10 points off of turnovers, I think, was one of the things that really killed us. That first drive, obviously we have a mishap. Right after that, we kind of got into a little bit of a rhythm and settled down and did some good things. But, I love the way our guys battled back. I love the way they fought back. They came up big on the punt return at the end of the game. We’ve had that in for a while. Got an opportunity to run it. Get a guy like [49ers RB] Raheem Mostert who we just called up from the practice squad, contributed for us today. To drive down there and get it close, we just wish we could have gotten a stop on that last series there and see if we can get the ball back and give [49ers K] Phil [Dawson] a chance.”
Was it difficult for you, having heard these rumors? All your players obviously have heard them.
Trying to get focused?
“No. It wasn’t. I love these players, so I think if I was distracted by anything else I wouldn’t be giving them what they deserve and they give me everything on every day, so I have to give that back to them. Those guys are awesome. We’ve had a lot of different players come in and out. I think it was 19 guys, went on IR. You’ve had a lot of guys that just got here a couple weeks ago, they all bought in. The entire group, whoever it was, you watch the effort [T] Joe Staley played with today coming off an injury. There was no keeping Joe off the field. He was going to play in this game. [TE] Garrett Celek who is running a fever and probably shouldn’t have played, but sucked it up. We lost [TE] Je’Ron Hamm in pregame warm ups. We have a bunch of guys who just competed and gave everything they had. One thing we talk about here all the time is don’t complain. We’re all privileged to play this game and coach this game, so every time you have an opportunity to do it, go out and do it.”
What was Hamm’s injury?
“He broke his leg, pregame warm-up.”
“I didn’t see it, so I couldn’t give you specifics on it, but I know he broke his leg. I know it was tough on him. Just a great young man. He is a helluva kid. You felt bad for him.”
Any players come up to you and ask what was going on with your status?
“Before the game no. I don’t think, I was going to coach the game, so I don’t think that should affect them. I hope they can properly plan and get ready to go play the football game.”
You said before the game, understood. How about after the game? Did anybody come up and ask?
“Yeah, we got a lot of hugs in there.”
A lot of people think you should keep your job. Did you have the roster to win this year?
“Excuse me, I didn’t hear the second part. I just heard the first part. Say that again.”
A lot of people think you should keep your job. Did you have the roster to win more than two games this year?
“We don’t control the roster, so I think the one thing is our job as coaches is to create an environment where our players have an opportunity to be successful and that’s what we have to do. I don’t look at, ‘I wish I had this. I wish I had that.’ We were fortunate for the guys we had and we tried to coach them as hard as we could and as well as we could.”
How do you think you grew this year as a coach this year with all the challenges?
“Well, I think the players in terms of our relationships with those guys and just the feedback. When you have great leaders like Joe Staley, and [S] Antoine Bethea, [DT] Glenn Dorsey, and guys like that and [K] Phil Dawson, the chance to interact with them everyday, watch their preparation, watch how professional they are and have them show not only the coaches and the younger players what it’s like to be a professional football player. I thought that was an awesome deal this year to be around a bunch of guys like that.”
Sorry, the question was how you grew.
“I grew by learning from those guys.”
You did? Okay, sorry I misunderstood.
“Okay. It’s okay.”
This was the last game, how would you analyze the whole season? What happened?
“We were 2-14. That’s how I would analyze the whole season.”
How good of a job do you think you did?
“I’m not grading myself.”
Hi Chip. Just a year ago, we were saying, ‘Hello and welcome to San Francisco.’ Here we are maybe saying goodbye.
How did it happen?
“Well, I think our record wasn’t, it’s a bottom line business. So, we probably didn’t win enough games.”
Do you imagine you’re going to make a case for yourself with Jed or maybe it’s past that point?
“No, I don’t think I’m going to The People’s Court. He wants to have a conversation, so I’ll have a conversation with him.”
Did they ask you to make a change at defensive coordinator?
“No, they didn’t ask me anything. We never had any conversations about players, coaches, or anything up until probably maybe after we get done talking here. But, we hadn’t had any conversations up.”
There’s no resistance on your part?
“No, we haven’t had any discussion like that. There was nothing for me to resist or to say, ‘Yeah, that’s a good idea. No, that’s a bad idea.’ They didn’t tell me that. They never told me who to play, who not to play. We just coached the guys we had and tried to do the best job we could.”
Do you have a set time for the meeting? Is there a set time?
“No, there isn’t. Just after the game. We’ll see. I’m not going to go home.”
Do you feel nervous going into this meeting? Is it like seeing the principle?
“No, I don’t feel nervous and I don’t look at it as going to see the principal. I just think it’s an end of the year meeting and we’ll go discuss everything positive and negative about what went on this season and see what happened.”
“I will say this, I do appreciate you guys. I thought my first year here with the guys that I got to work with everyday, [Sacramento Bee reporter] Matt [Barrows], [CSNBayArea.com reporter] Matt [Maiocco], the whole guys, [San Jose Mercury News reporter] Cam [Inman], [San Francisco Chronicle reporter] Eric [Branch], the rest of the group here. The guys who were here every day, [NinersWire.com reporter] Chris [Biderman], it was awesome. I really appreciate you guys. I thought you were really professional and I enjoyed it. So, thank you.”