Chip Kelly probably didn’t have a difficult decision to make when he opted to bench mercurial quarterback Blaine Gabbert in favor of Colin Kaepernick. But one sports pundit took issue with the timing of it all.
Fox Sports commentator Skip Bayless senses something fishy with the way Kelly delivered the news. He tweeted Friday he thinks Kelly made the announcement on Tuesday to give San Francisco’s opponent, the Buffalo Bills, more time to prepare. Essentially, Bayless thinks Kelly is intentionally setting up Kaepernick for failure.
However, this seems to be a thin theory. First, Buffalo’s preparation probably wouldn’t have been altered all that much regardless of the quarterback. Second, it doesn’t make much sense for Kelly to set Kaepernick up for failure because who would he turn to if Kaepernick struggled? He could go back to Gabbert, but that probably wouldn’t be a well-received move either. He could turn to Christian Ponder as a last resort, but that probably won’t have a happy ending.
Finally, Kelly probably doesn’t want to go 2-14 this season. That might be obvious, but a terrible start to his tenure won’t offer any extra security for a coach whom many are questioning after crashing and burning with the Philadelphia Eagles.
If Kaepernick can be half of the quarterback he was when he guided the 49ers to a Super Bowl not so long ago, it would be a win-win for everyone involved, except probably Bayless.