Some news, notes and first impressions from Chip Kelly's initial press conference on Wednesday:
* First, it was the polar opposite of last year's featuring Jim Tomsula. Kelly was concise, confident, proud, even defiant at times. Last year's key moment may have been when general manager Trent Baalke butted in to say, "I think somewhere in there (Tomsula) said we're going to run the ball." Baalke was on the podium next to Kelly the whole time today. But he hardly said a word. When Baalke did speak, it was to say, "I don’t think I can give you a better answer than coach just did." That is, it was very much Chip Kelly's show.
* Kelly opened with a joke. Asked why six days passed between his hiring and his press conference, Kelly said, "I've been known to run a really slow offense," and that the lag time for his press conference was symbolic. Haha! As far as the pace of his offense, Kelly didn't seem inclined to reconsider it one iota. He said at one point that it's been proven that opposing defenses struggle with that frenetic pace. After the press conference, Baalke said the reason why the 49ers like Kelly is his aggression. So don't expect him to slow down.
Defiant, not humbled
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* Has Kelly been humbled by his Week 17 firing in Philadelphia? If anything, he sounded defiant. He cited text messages of support he received from titans of football, including Bill Parcells, Nick Saban, Bill Belichick, Tony Dungy and Bill Polian. "I'm not governed by fear of what other people think," Kelly said at one point.
* Kelly confirmed a Sacramento Bee report that he met with Colin Kaepernick Monday. League rules prevent coaches from doing anything more than exchanging pleasantries with players during this time of year, so Kelly said he did not get into any coaching specifics with the quarterback. He did say that Kaepernick has headed back to Vail, Colo. to continue rehabilitating from shoulder, thumb and knee surgeries. Kelly denied wanting to trade for Kaepernick last year, something multiple sources have said was indeed the case. He notably was complimentary of both Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert.
“Obviously, Kap is an extremely talented football player and you need to have a good quarterback to win,” Kelly said. “But I was also impressed in the film I watched in terms of how Blaine played this year, also. I think statistics bear out that you probably need two good quarterbacks in this league with the injury rate quarterbacks have. I think both of those players make this an attractive situation.”
* Kelly has not finished hiring his staff. In fact, the only hire he would confirm was Tom Rathman at running backs coach. After the press conference, Baalke noted that defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro is in the building and has said hello to some players, including his ex-Oregon pupil, Arik Armstead. Which is to say, there are likely several assistants in place. But none are official yet.
* Kelly did say that he would run a 3-4 defense, which meshes with Baalke's preference. He's interviewed at least two candidates with 3-4 backgrounds, Eric Mangini and Mike Vrabel. Others who are versed in 3-4 schemes, such as ex-49ers head coach Mike Nolan, also are available.
* Kelly verified that he'll call the offensive plays from the sideline. As for offensive coordinator, he said he was interested in bringing in someone who comes from a different offensive background than him. That explains why he is interested in the Bills' Anthony Lynn and the Lions' Curtis Modkins, two running specialists who are versed in power-running schemes.
* Baalke said that tailback Carlos Hyde had surgery to repair his left foot, which Hyde broke in October. He said the injury should be healed by the time the offseason program begins in April. Baalke said that Hyde had the surgery before the end of the season.
* Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the 49ers have signed 6-3, 210-pound receiver Eric Rogers, who led the CFL in receiving yards last season. Rogers visited 16 teams before settling on San Francisco, who may be moving on from their leading receiver the last three years, Anquan Boldin. He is scheduled to be a free agent in March. A year ago, the 49ers landed another coveted free agent from another league, running back Jarryd Hayne.