If there is any discontent between new San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly and Trent Baalke, it’s news to the general manager.
Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area quoted Baalke, who stated with no uncertainty that he and Kelly have a strong relationship.
“I can tell you emphatically that is total B.S. That’s all I can say,” Baalke said. “We’ve had absolutely a wonderful start to this relationship, and there’s really nothing else to say. He’s coaching ball, and we’re up there in draft room going to work. It couldn’t be better.”
“Where Baldy got that from, what his angle was, it’s ridiculous. And you can quote me on that.”
This was in response to an interview that Brian Baldinger of the NFL Network did with Philadelphia’s 97.5, when he said that Baalke and Kelly were not getting along well.
“I already hear there’s problems in the building between Chip & Baalke” – @BaldyNFL
— 975TheFanatic (@975TheFanatic) April 14, 2016
Normally speaking, Baalke and Kelly would deserve the benefit of the doubt. Baldinger’s quote certainly could have been stronger as to the untrained ear, it sounds as though he’s getting second and third hand information, at best.
On the other hand, given the history of Baalke with Jim Harbaugh and Kelly with the Philadelphia Eagles, it’s hard to give either party the benefit of the doubt. Baalke and Harbaugh didn’t exactly have a harmonious relationship, especially at the end of Harbaugh’s run in San Francisco. Conversely, Kelly and the Eagles certainly didn’t seem to run a smooth operation, particularly in 2015.
That’s not to say that either Baalke or Kelly are 100 percent to blame for their past problems or that they shouldn’t be believed here. But whether the 49ers like it or not, the possibility of infighting is very high, so reports of it simply can’t be casually ignored.