Chip Kelly's name certain to surface in connection with Oregon job

Chip Kelly's name certain to surface in connection with Oregon job

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The man who replaced Chip Kelly has been fired as Oregon's head coach.

Kelly is certain to be mentioned as one of the top candidates for the job – even after two blanket denials he has any interest in returning to the college ranks. Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens announced the firing of head coach Mark Helfrich on Tuesday.

"We want to thank Mark for his eight years with the University of Oregon and appreciate his efforts on behalf of Oregon football," Mullens said in a statement. "We wish Mark and his family the best."

The 49ers are 1-10 in Kelly’s first season. The club is in the midst of a franchise-worst 10-game losing streak as the 49ers remain in Florida to practice before traveling north to face the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

Kelly is considered a logical candidate to fill the position he held with the Ducks from 2009 to ’12. Oregon compiled a 46-7 record under Kelly. In Helfrich’s four seasons, the Ducks went 37-16.

Earlier this month, Kelly dismissed the notion he could end up coaching at the college level next season. The 49ers signed Kelly to a four-year, $24 million contract in January, but things have not gone well in his first season after replacing Jim Tomsula. The 49ers were 5-11 last year under Tomsula.

“I haven’t talked to a college since I’ve been in the NFL and that’s not my goal,” Kelly said on Nov. 7. “My goal is to be head coach of the 49ers.

“It surprises me that that continues to be a new story. It’s been the same story since I left (Oregon) four years ago. I’m not looking to go back and that’s what I’ve always said. So I don’t know how it’s stayed a story.”

Two weeks earlier, Kelly said, "I'm not going anywhere."

Even if Kelly wishes to remain with the 49ers, CEO Jed York must decide whether retaining him as coach is the best long-term move for the organization. General manager Trent Baalke’s future with the franchise is also uncertain after three consecutive seasons in which the 49ers have gotten progressively worse under coaches Jim Harbaugh, Tomsula and Kelly.

Richard Sherman has message for Antonio Brown in his bid to join 49ers


Richard Sherman has message for Antonio Brown in his bid to join 49ers

Richard Sherman knows what it's like to leave the only franchise he's ever known to join the 49ers.

So, what does he think about Antonio Brown's desire to play in San Francisco?

"Good luck to him," Sherman told TMZ on Thursday night in Los Angeles.

The All-Pro receiver wants out of Pittsburgh and to come to the 49ers "really badly," according to Hall of Famer Jerry Rice.

Steelers owner Art Rooney II has said the team won't release Brown but will explore all other options, including a trade. Rooney also said he expects discussions regarding Brown's future to heat up in mid-March when the new league year begins.

Sherman, who signed a three-year, $27.15 million contract with the 49ers last March, was asked about his time in the Bay Area.

"So far, so good," Sherman told TMZ.

Before Sherman could get away, he was asked if he had a message for Brown.

"Go wherever it makes him happy," Sherman said.

49ers' George Kittle voted 2018 Most Improved Player of the Year by PFWA


49ers' George Kittle voted 2018 Most Improved Player of the Year by PFWA

George Kittle had an impressive 2018 season for the 49ers to the say the least.

Kittle was named the top tight end in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus, and PFF even told NBC Sports Bay Area his season could be considered one of the all-time greats if data was around years ago to back it up.

Regardless, he will be known for breaking the NFL single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end, finishing his 2018 campaign with 1,377 yards.

Kittle can now add "Most Improved Player of the Year" to his list of accomplishments, as voted by the Pro Football Writers of America.

This is on top of being voted by the PFWA's All-NFC Team Tuesday and just about every other prestigious football honor one can receive.

[RELATED: Kittle asked media to hurry up to attend WWE event]

The best part is knowing Kittle is only 25 years old, and can surely still get better.

But for now, we should all relish in his growing list of impressive resume accomplishments.