Chip Kelly: Meet the 49ers head coach

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- The 49ers have had some great coaches since the team's inception.

Bill Walsh was known as "The Genius;" George Seifert had underrated brilliance; Steve Marriucci has been described as "The Motivator;" Mike Nolan was "Mr. GQ;" Mike Singletary was "Mr. Intensity;" Jim Tomsula was simply miscast.

But how should current coach Chip Kelly be described? At this point, it may be too soon to say. It is difficult to get a sense of what makes the new 49ers head coach tick because the team does not allow one-on-one interviews with him.

And his answers during press conferences can be vague and evasive. For example, after his highly successful college career his transition to the ranks of the NFL was a disaster.

Kelly left Philadelphia for reasons that seem to be linked more to his handling of player issues off the field than his football acumen. But when asked if he would do anything different with the 49ers, he didn't answer the question directly.

"I put a lot more sunscreen on," he said.

 When those he is coaching are asked about his style, you get a sense that he is known as an offensive innovator whose fast-paced game plans have produced mixed results.

But Blaine Gabbert, the man who won the job as starting quarterback, is on board with Kelly's ideology.

"There is no question that Kelly brings a true coaching presence," Gabbert said.

Kelly has adroitly handled the firestorm of controversy surrounding Colin Kapernick's refusal to stand during the national anthem and the coach has brushed off accusations about how he mishandled players in Philadelphia.

In his brief tenure with the 49ers, Kelly has reached out to the leaders of the team, an effort to make sure they know where he's coming from. 

Said Antoine Beathea: "You hear a lot of stories."  

By all accounts, Kelly considers himself an innovator and a coach who lives on the leading edge of technology when it comes to getting the most out of the athletes he coaches. His progressive ideas seem to be well received.

"He's into the science of sport," said player Eric Reid.

With the team unbeaten but a rough season ahead, Kelly has coasted without controversy through his first several months on the job. In order to stay on top, Kelly will have to win but that won't be easy.

49ers fans will have to wait and see a year from now what the question mark about Chip Kelly turns into.

By KTVU Sports anchor Mark Ibanez.

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