Jim O’Neil is Chip Kelly’s guy on defense this year. Hopefully, for the Faithful’s sake, he’s up for the task. (Courtesy 49ers via Twitter)

Niners’ shotgun marriage could be doomed to backfire

Nobody runs defenses into the ground like Chip Kelly and his frenetic offense, so defense coordinator is the next most important hire anywhere he goes.

Along those lines, one would think that the 49ers would at least allow the human Roto Rooter to pick his own victim, right?

Silly Balls.

According to Billy Davis, who worked under Kelly with the Philadelphia Eagles, his former boss wanted him to run the 49ers’ defense, only to have lame duck general manager Trent Baalke and CEO Jed York get in the way again. Kelly got stuck with former Cleveland Browns mastermind Jim O’Neil instead, and the Cleveland Browns part pretty much screams it all, doesn’t it?

Apparently, Davis didn’t meet the 49ers’ lofty standards. Namely, he was their D coordinator in 2005 and 2006 in a previous regime, although coach Mike Nolan called most of the shots at the time.

“I think they wanted Chip to bring someone in who hadn’t been there before,” Davis disclosed to Philly.com the other day.

Baalke and York probably were aware that the Eagles allowed an average of 33.2 points and 436.5 in their final eight games last season, although that might give them too much credit. But the heck does York know about football to meddle in the first place?

Now for the fine print: The unit was on the field for 71.9 snaps per game, more than any in the league. It also lacked talent and depth at linebacker and the secondary — sound familiar? — which complicated matters.

“I would have loved to have had another year to right the wrongs and get it even better,” said Davis, who followed Kelly out the door last winter. “But that didn’t
happen.”

So rather than pick someone who was familiar with Kelly and his whimsical ways, not to mention the Bay Area and the Niners’ organization to some extent, Baalke and York chose a Cleveland guy who had failed miserably for two years. Under O’Neil, the Browns ranked 29th in points (27.0) and 27th in yards (379.2) allowed in the
league.

But the Browns did hold the 49ers to 10 points and 221 yards in a rare victory and slept at a Holiday Inn Express.

MOORE OR LESS?: While the Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals and even Cleveland Indians made bold moves before the trade deadline, the Giants acted as if they were more concerned about the future than the present. That’s what happens when an organization lacks the upper-level prospects necessary to acquire immediate difference-makers.

In pitchers Matt Moore and Will Smith, the front office settled for a pair of left-handers with recent health issues who could be kept on the relative cheap for a while. But what about now?

Whether Eduardo Nunez represents an upgrade over the departed Matt Duffy is an iffy proposition at this point. Moore almost can’t help but be better than Jake Peavy, who finally has been removed from the rotation. But will he be good enough to ease the load on Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto in the stretch drive?

In particular, Cueto’s history of late fades should be a caution flag. His earned run average is more than three-quarters of a run higher in the second half (3.73) than the first (2.93) in his career. His WHIP numbers (1.30-1.09) follow suit.

Moore will make his debut against the Phillies in Philadelphia. He has been very good lately. And he may have to stay that way if the Giants are in it to win it.

SKEETER BITE: If the Giants wanted to move Duffy, that’s one thing. But that’s no way to treat his pet Skeeter, who has nearly 15,000 Instagram followers and began the season in the best physical condition of his life.

Cats have long memories, you know.

BUSINESS AS USUAL: Not to be outdone, the Athletics scored a Billy Beane hat trick before the deadline — donated Rich Hill and Josh Reddick to the Los Angeles Dodgers and GM Farhan Zaidi, his old pal, added prospect Grant Holmes and stuck it to the Giants again.

Next on Beane’s to-do list: Give self raise.

LOVELY PARTING GIFTS: Awwww, man, sorry Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays. And you, too, A’s. It would have been nice for you to stay in the pennant races for a while.

But now you can follow the NFL preseason from start to finish. Not bad! And you’ll get a chance to spin The Wheel this fall!

THE LIST: The unofficial Rio Olympics survival guide:

1. Buy travel insurance.

2. Keep your head above water and don’t drink the sewage.

3. Wear full body armor to avoid Zika.

4. Never, ever get lost after dark.

5. Wear a protective cup when near Draymond Green at all times.

JUST SAYIN’: Green caught flack when a photo of his member inadvertently went public, but that was no big news.

— Warriors teammate Klay Thompson says, “I’m not sacrificing shit because my game isn’t changing,” and Balls says, “Are you really sure you want to do this, Kevin Durant?”

— Besides, the Warriors can’t be that good. One NBA team projects them to win only 83 games next regular season.

— The ESPN Body Issue won’t be complete without the A’s Billy (Country Breakfast) Butler in it.

— If there’s a cooler U.S. Olympian than Cal’s own Alex Morgan, then Balls wants to meet her/him soon.

YOUR TURN: “Why should the A’s not sell? Get value for current talent to build a club of young prospects who will hopefully turn into future major league talent. It is an ebb and flow that has seen the A’s reach the playoffs eight times in the past 15 years. … In other words, the method works, and not just for the A’s. The Houston Astros are a prime example when you evaluate who that club sold 3-5 years ago.” — Jon Varnica, San Francisco

Got an opinion? A gripe? A compliment? A compliment?! Send them to pladd@aol.com, and who knows, you may get your name in the paper before long.

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