(Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Chip gives Baalke a vote of confidence

Trent Baalke is no stranger to being under fire.

Ever since he reportedly played a part in the strife that forced former San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh out the door, he’s been scapegoated by media and fans for the team’s demise.

The calls for his ouster have gotten louder this year as the Niners have stumbled out to a 1-8 start and look to be regressing in every measurable statistic. The biggest indictment of Baalke is likely how outmatched the team looks on a weekly basis. It’s hard to blame head coach Chip Kelly for the 49ers’ failures when he hasn’t been given much to work with personnel-wise since he landed in Santa Clara for the job.

But that didn’t dissuade Kelly from giving his boss a vote of confidence on Thursday. When Kelly took the job in the offseason, he said that he and Baalke were in lockstep when it came to how they perceived the game and that hasn’t changed after more than a half of an NFL season together.

“I think we see the game similar in terms of how you’re supposed to be, how you’re supposed to be stout up the middle, how you’re supposed to, what we’re looking for in players in terms of how that works,” Kelly stammered. “So, we don’t differ on what we value in a football player. Toughness, physicality, all those other things. I think that’s first and foremost on Trent’s list. That’s always been first and foremost on my list.”

He was then asked if he was committed to getting the job done with Baalke.

“I mean, we’re all under scrutiny,” Kelly said. “We all understand that. That comes with the territory, but we’ve got to all do our jobs.”

He struck a similar tone when he was asked about defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil’s status with the team — that they’re all performing for the same team and that they all need to do better as a group and not resorting to blaming individuals.

It seems Kelly just wants to get through this season and get to work forming an improved roster — although it becomes increasingly unlikely that Baalke will be there for the process.

Kelly’s guy, personnel director Tom Gamble, works for the team and the coach said on Wednesday the current arrangement, which includes a good deal of traveling for Balke, has worked because “whenever Trent is not here, Tommy Gamble is here and whenever Tommy Gamble’s not here, Trent is here.”

But at a certain point, Baalke won’t be there anymore, especially as the Faithful’s calls for his job increase in number and volume.

At this point, you just have to wonder when, because when you log two lost seasons in a row in the NFL, usually someone’s employment status changes.

Chip KellySan Francisco 49ersTrent Baalke

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

City officials closed San Francisco County Jail No. 4 on the top floor of the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. in September, reducing the number of beds in the jail system by about 400. 
Kevin N. Hume/
S.F. Examiner
SF jail closure prompts doctor to call for release of more inmates

Reduced space increases risk of COVID-19 spreading among those in custody

Cyclists have flocked to Market Street since private vehicles were largely banned from a long stretch of it in January. (Amanda Peterson/Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Plans for sidewalk-level bikeway on Market Street dropped due to costs, increased cyclist volume

Advocates say revisions to Better Market Street fail to meet safety goals of project

Prop. 21 would allow San Francisco city officials to expand rent control to cover thousands more units. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Tenant advocates take another try at expanding rent control with Prop. 21

Measure would allow city to impose new protections on properties 15 years or older

Tenderloin residents are finding benefits to having roads closed in the neighborhood. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Should there be fewer cars in the Tenderloin’s future?

The pandemic has opened San Franciscans’ eyes to new uses of urban streets

Singer-songwriter Cam is finding musicmaking to be healing during 2020’s world health crisis. 
Courtesy 
Dennis Leupold
Cam challenges country music tropes

Bay Area-bred songwriter releases ‘The Otherside’

Most Read