Chip Kelly was fired on Sunday night after one season as the head coach of the 49ers.
And he disputes the suggestion he and ex-49ers general manager Trent Baalke did not get along during their one season together.
“I enjoyed my interaction with Trent,” Kelly told CSNBayArea.com on Wednesday morning. “I thought we had a good working relationship. You saw us on the practice field. We talked a lot and got along. I don’t know why people are talking about this.”
This week, Fox Sports reporter Jay Glazer said he talked to Kelly. He reported Kelly had known for weeks Baalke was trying to “undermine him.” Glazer later clarified that his report did not come from Kelly but from several other sources.
“That’s not the way I do things,” Kelly said on Wednesday. “I don’t talk about other people. If you want to talk to me about my team, I’ll do that. But I never get into that kind of nit-picking. You saw me all year. I don’t talk about stuff like that. I coach the guys.”
On Monday, 49ers CEO Jed York talked about why he did not believe the Baalke-Kelly union worked. York said he believed Baalke, as a defensive-minded general manager, would be a good complement to Kelly's innovative offensive mind.
“That’s sort of the vision that I saw,” York said. “But the marriage didn’t work and, you know, I should have probably seen it. It’s easy to play revisionist history, but we are where we are and that’s why we’re cleaning the slate and we’re reestablishing that culture.”
Baalke oversaw the 49ers from a time when the roster was considered among the best in the NFL during three consecutive trips to the NFC Championship Game, incuding one Super Bowl appearance, under coach Jim Harbaugh. But as the 49ers went from 8-8 to 5-11 to 2-14, the club tore through Harbaugh, Jim Tomsula and Kelly as head coaches.
When asked if he felt like he got a fair chance with only one season, Kelly answered, “My feelings are, it is what it is. It’s over. I’ve moved on. I look forward to the next step. I don’t look at the past and try to figure it out. It’s already happened.”
Kelly’s success in the NFL diminished every season after taking over one season after Andy Reid went 4-12. The Eagles finished with a 10-6 record in Kelly’s first season after leaving Oregon. The Eagles lost their first-round playoff game.
The next season, the Philadelphia again finished 10-6 but failed to reach the playoffs. He was fired late in the 2015 season with a 6-9 record, and Baalke hired him two weeks later.
Kelly said it is a misconception that he did not make wholesale adjustments with his offense to adapt to the NFL.
“The offense I ran with the Eagles and the 49ers is nothing like the offense I ran at Oregon,” he said. “I think people automatically think I took the Oregon playbook and slapped a new sticker on the front. It’s a different game. There are different hashmarks, different rules. It’s just really different.”
Kelly pointed out that he hired assistant coaches with plenty of NFL experience – such as Pat Shurmur, Duce Staley, Bill Lazor, Curtis Modkins, Pat Flaherty, Tom Rathman, Bob Bicknell and Jeff Nixon -- and incorporated their ideas into his offenses.
Now, Kelly said he will take his time to figure out his next career move.
“I’m not going to close the door on any opportunity, but I have to be very smart in what I do next,” he said. “I don’t have to take anything, but I wouldn’t rule anything out. I need to make sure that I’m in the right situation.
“I don’t know what the future holds. I’ll do my due diligence. I’m not going to coach just to coach.”
His first priority, though, is to get his 85-year-old mother back to her home in New Hampshire, he said. She came out to the Bay Area to watch the 49ers’ season finale Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.