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Chip Kelly explains why he disclosed quarterback change on Tuesday


The movie “Beverly Hills Cop”, directed by Martin Brest. Seen here, Eddie Murphy as Det. Axel Foley sticking a banana into the tailpipe of a 1983 Mercury Marquis sedan. Initial theatrical release December 5, 1984. Screen capture. © 1984 Paramount Pictures. Credit: © 1984 Paramount Pictures / Flickr / Courtesy Pikturz. Image intended only for use to help promote the film, in an editorial, non-commercial context.

Say what you will about 49ers coach Chip Kelly, he’s incredibly transparent. On Thursday, he explained why he chose transparency regarding the recent change in quarterback.

In response to a question regarding his reason for not concealing his plan at quarterback until the weekend, Kelly explained that it wouldn’t have worked.

“Well, I think we live in a society, number one, that there are no secrets,” Kelly told reporters. “So, if Colin took all the reps with the ones on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, somebody’s ‘mole’ would have told them who was taking all the reps, you know what I mean? And I don’t really care. We have two similar quarterbacks. Our offense doesn’t change. I don’t think you’re going to outsmart people in the National Football League where all of a sudden if the second quarterback’s playing that Rex [Ryan] is going to tear up his game plan and say, ‘We’re screwed. We have no idea how to defend him.’

‘People way over-analyze the whole thing. You ask me a question. I’m going to tell you an answer. You ask me who our quarterback is. I’m going to tell you who our quarterback is. Our quarterback maneuver was made on Tuesday then our quarterback will be announced on Tuesday. So, I don’t buy that whole ‘stick the banana in the tailpipe and try to tell them the car is broken.’ It is what it is. We made the maneuver on Tuesday. I’ll announce it on Tuesday.”

Kelly gets bonus points for making the “banana in the tailpipe” reference, even if he butchered it a little bit. The bigger question is whether Kaepernick’s presence will un-butcher an offense that isn’t working.

On that point, Kelly was pressed to explain whether his Tuesday comments about the necessity of a quarterback change in an effort to improve the offense because the offense otherwise lacks the depth necessary to make meaningful changes at other positions.

“You guys are digging deep here, huh?” Kelly said. “If you look at every position we have on offense, we rotate. So all three running backs play. If five receivers are up, they play. All three tight ends play. We’re rotating our offensive line. The only position you don’t rotate on the offensive side of the ball is quarterback. So, when I said that’s the only maneuver you could make, it’s not like ‘Well geez, [running back] Carlos [Hyde] isn’t playing well.’ Well Shaun Draughn plays, Mike Davis plays. [Tight end] Blake Bell plays. Garrett Celek plays. Vance McDonald plays. We rotate six offensive linemen. The only position that had not been rotated on the offensive side of the ball was the quarterback spot. So, that’s what I said. What are you going to do? The only position we hadn’t made a move at was quarterback.”

The move has now been made, and the next question is whether the offense will run well, or whether it will behave as if it has a banana in the tailpipe.