The San Francisco 49ers made some huge decisions today and are now probably at the most important next few days the franchise will ever experience. The organization is (hopefully) being purged. It began with the firings of head coach Chip Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke.
First what’s going to happen: We’ll get Jed York on a podium tomorrow talking about goals and Super Bowls and how the 49ers didn’t achieve that. He’ll tell us how everything rests on his shoulders, he has a championship mentality, how Eddie DeBartolo helped ingrain that mindset and how Uncle Eddie will be there to consult in the coaching search. Expect references to planes flying over his head and how the fans are unhappy.
He’ll tell you the organization isn’t going to reveal much as it’s a competitive offseason. He’ll tell you money isn’t an issue, they are going to find the right people for the job. The organization will spare no stone unturned.
Questions will come flying about winning with class, regret for Harbaugh’s departure, what the conversation with Chip Kelly and Trent Baalke were like (which he will deflect).
I don’t really care what he has to say, I’ve heard it all before. I care about what the plan is going forward. York isn’t going to reveal that tomorrow, as he shouldn’t. I’d just like to hope that they have something already figured out before they went Bahamut Zero on the front office.
Trent Baalke had to go. I don’t need to regurgitate my posts, comments, and Twitter feed to point out why. Good GM or not, things were not working out with his roster. Chip Kelly? I don’t know. He had Trent Baalke’s rosters to work with. He was bringing an entirely different offense to San Francisco which was going to take a lot of time to turn over. Not every franchise has the pieces in place and gets a Jim Harbaugh to take those pieces to the NFC Championship game. It takes time. Coaches need to get their system installed, the players they need, and the culture in place. But most importantly, when they are fired, the candidates replacing them need to know they will at least be given a chance to do the aforementioned tasks. It doesn’t happen in a year.
Which is why Jed needs a plan right now. I hope they have a GM and a possible lead on the coach before they pressed the self-destruct button, because this coaching search is going to be a helluva lot harder. This is like when you go looking for a job and look the company up to see what others say about it. The Yorks have a bad look: They fired a coach who was winning, a coach who they hand-picked in-house after one season, and a coach who was going to bring an entirely different offense to the table in one season. In that order. I’m not saying Chip Kelly was the answer, but I am saying given the injuries, the roster, and the issues with Trent Baalke, Kelly needed more than one season before we could say he needed to go.
But on the other hand, this may have been what had to happen. If Baalke had to go, and Tom Gamble wasn’t an option, then Kelly was just a casualty of circumstance. We just have to hope our coaching candidates realize this as well. This is a bad look for the organization, and it very well can hurt our chances at landing the best head coach. It’s understandable why this had to happen...I just hope Jed York knows what he’s doing. Onto the links.
Statement from Trent Baalke (49ers.com)
49ers fire Chip Kelly (Branch)
49ers' five best coaching candidates to replace Chip Kelly (Sporting News)
This should be good: 49ers 2016 season grades (Cohn)
What a horrible night to have a curse...