New 49ers QB Thad Lewis: Chip Kelly a 'very smart, intelligent man'

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Thad Lewis is a Chip Kelly fan and, apparently, vice versa.

Why else would the San Francisco 49ers make the backup quarterback who spent last season with Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles the first "off-campus" free-agent signing of the Kelly Era?

"Obviously, I made an impression on him and he made an impression on me because I kind of liked the offense and how he did things," Lewis said in a conference call Thursday. "I respect him as a coach and, you know, obviously, I was looking for that again when I had the opportunity to come here to San Francisco."

San Francisco, Santa Clara. Six in one hand, half-a-dozen in the other.

This much is clear, though -- Lewis being signed could be seen as more smoke to the fire that Colin Kaepernick is indeed on the trading block, be it with Denver, Cleveland, the New York Jets or Parts Unkown as his destination.

Not that Lewis was saying ... or even knows as he joins a QB corps currently comprised of Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert, Dylan Thompson and Lewis.

"I have no inclination of what's going to happen in the quarterback room," he said. "I don't know. My expectation is to help this football team, better them in the sense of us actually winning the NFC West first, taking care of that and then getting to the playoffs and then letting everything else take care of itself."

Lewis, who played his college ball at Duke, has spent time with the Rams, Browns, Lions, Bills, Texans, Browns and Eagles, though he has not played since 2013, when he went 2-3 for the Bills after going 0-1 for Cleveland a year earlier.

He has a career passer rating of 81.4 in completing 60.8 percent of his passes for 1,296 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions in seven career games.

Kelly's high-powered and quick-strike offense appealed to Lewis.

"You have an opportunity to switch it up," he said. "Once you have a defense on its heels and you're pushing the tempo, that's an advantage for the offense.

"I've been around for a minute; we're incorporating all aspects of different offenses."

And, as noted before, Lewis seemed puzzled by the criticism of Kelly from former players when asked to describe the coach.

"Very smart, intelligent man that knows the game of football," Lewis said. "He's had success because of that, and you get a sense of that when you sit down and talk to him and talk the X's and O's. And then, you see that once you get out there on the football field and see when your game planning is actually working very well and it's rolling. Those are things that I saw firsthand last year and I was happy with that. I was glad to see that, not knowing him beforehand, and it made an impression on me.

"His people skills are great; he treats you like a professional. You come to work and you do your job how you're supposed to, and that's how you get treated."