With the Niners going through their worst losing streak in franchise history, most assume some heads are due to roll at the conclusion of the 2016 season.
The question is, will it be Chip Kelly and his coaching staff, general manager Trent Baalke, or both? Ian Rapoport of NFL Network joined KNBR 1050’s The Audible on Thursday morning and said that he thinks Chip Kelly has done a good job with little talent and should be back next season, while Baalke is in danger.
“I don’t really see Chip Kelly being in trouble at all,” Rapoport said. “I know the record is not good, but it’s just so interesting to me. I talk to coaches around the league a lot. They’re very honest, often anonymous, and they actually think the Niners are a pretty well coached team. They’re not good obviously. The players are not good. The actual coaching is good. They haven’t won a lot of games but they look like they know what they’re doing and the staff is good.”
“I don’t feel like Chip is in any danger. Trent Baalke might be in some danger. That will play itself out. I know Trent has said himself, this falls on him, and if they go 3-13, 2-14 or whatever, and he’s said what he’s said, it’s tough not to point the finger at him especially when he’s already pointed the finger at himself.”
Rapoport’s belief falls in line with a report from Jay Glazer of Fox Sports last Sunday, who said Kelly will be returning no matter what happens this season. Somewhat surprisingly, Rapoport believes much maligned defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil, whose unit has given up more points and yards than any other team this season, is also safe.
“His defense is one of the phases of the game that people say they’re not good, but they actually look pretty good,” Rapoport said. “I know the results are one thing, and I’m not questioning the results, they are what they are, the team is not good. When you look at the actual coaching, what the players are trying to do, what they have the ability to do, I don’t see the coaching staff in as much danger as a lot of people.”