Chip Kelly on Wednesday said that he reached out to recently fired Oregon coach Mark Helfrich but that he hasn’t spoken to anyone at the school and that he remains committed to the 49ers.
“So we’re done with that, I hope,” he said before the 49ers’ Wednesday practice at the University of Central Florida.
Kelly’s name instantly was mentioned as a possibility for the Oregon coaching job after news broke that Helfrich, who succeeded Kelly with the Ducks in 2013, was let go. Helfrich had three winning seasons, but the Ducks fell to 4-8 this season. Kelly went 46-7 in his four years as Oregon’s coach.
Kelly, however, is 1-10 in his first season with the 49ers, which has helped fuel speculation that either he might be finished with the NFL or that the league is finished with him. Kelly also met with prominent Oregon booster Phil Knight before a 49ers game in Santa Clara earlier this year, though Kelly said that was merely because the two men are friends.
Kelly hired Helfrich as his offensive coordinator when Kelly became Oregon’s head coach in 2009.
“I just felt bad for Mark. I love him like a brother,” he said. “He’s a tremendous person. He’s a hell of a football coach, and he’s an even better person. (I) just felt for him and the rest of the guys on that staff. It’s an unfortunate thing that goes on in this profession. We all know about it when we sign up, but when it happens you’re still taken aback by it.”
Sunshine to snow – The forecast for Sunday’s game in Chicago seems to be deteriorating with each day. The latest: A high of 38 degrees with a mixture of rain and snow.
The 49ers, meanwhile, practiced under partly sunny skies Wednesday with temperatures reaching 83 degrees.
Kelly said his staff would monitor the forecast but that he wasn’t worried about it.
“I was told when we played the Patriots, it wasn’t going to rain,” he said of the game during which it did rain. “So that was a different story. Everybody’s weather’s different. No matter where you live, they’ll say if you don’t like the weather, wait a half-hour, it’ll change. I’ve heard that everywhere traveling around the United States. We monitor it every week, keep an eye on it and we’ve got a better understanding of what it’s going to be like.”
Et cetera – According to ESPN, the Seahawks signed running back Kelvin Taylor to their practice squad. The 49ers drafted Taylor in the sixth round of the 2016 draft but cut him from their practice squad earlier this year.
▪ Eli Harold (foot) and Ronald Blair (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis Wednesday after sitting out Tuesday’s practice.
▪ Receiver Quinton Patton, who suffered a concussion Sunday, did not practice, but was in uniform for the early part of practice and worked with the team’s medical staff. If he continues to make progress, he is on track to play against the Bears.