The San Francisco 49ers practiced with pads for the first time this season on Tuesday, and new head coach Chip Kelly spent a good amount of time protecting himself from misperceptions — many that were born in Philadelphia.
He rebutted reporters’ assertions about Bruce Miller changing positions from fullback to tight end, saying, “We have a [moving] tight end and that’s really what a fullback is in today’s National Football League.”
Also, don’t say his quarterbacks can’t audible, because he’s given them free rein to adjust for coverages or choose between two plays that are called from the sideline.
When a reporter noted there are a lot of misconceptions about Kelly, the coach made one thing clear: “It’s OK. I’m not in the conception business. We’re just trying to play football.”
But he wasn’t done.
Kelly bristled when asked if he’s been making a concerted effort to alter the perception that he’s a poor communicator — a notion that emerged during his time with the Eagles.
“You put 20 people in a room and you’re going to have 19 different opinions going one way or another about one other person, and some people are going to agree and they’re not going to agree,” he said.
So what have we really learned? Kelly is an enigma and will remain as much for a long time.
(And to answer the one question many fans care about: No, Kelly has not selected a starting quarterback. Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert have been taking an equal number of reps in training camp, and Kelly won’t decide until he’s seen them in preseason action.)
Klay won’t give up shots
Many people who don’t understand role-playing in basketball have wondered if Klay Thompson, a catch-and-shoot guard, will be fine with a reduced load to accommodate Kevin Durant.
Thompson educated those people in no uncertain terms on Tuesday.
“I feel kind of disrespected that people keep using the term ‘sacrifice’ to describe me and describe us,” Thompson told The Vertical. “We all want to see each other do well. But I’m not sacrificing shit, because my game isn’t changing. I’m still going to try to get buckets, hit shots, come off screens. I want to win and have a fun time every game we play.”
(For the record: Stephen Curry will be the Warrior who sees his scoring average significantly drop next season.)