Today's question: Will coach Chip Kelly’s no-huddle offense fit with the 49ers' talent?
Josh Weinfuss, Arizona Cardinals reporter: Talent? What talent? The scariest player on the 49ers, by name, is wide receiver Torrey Smith, followed by running back Carlos Hyde. Now that that has been addressed, Kelly’s offense can work to an extent with the current rendition of the Niners. It’s really up to the players buying in to the up-tempo offense. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick can flourish in Kelly’s system because of his athleticism. One player who could also benefit is wide receiver Bruce Ellington -- Andre’s cousin. Bruce is a speedster and can be a threat when defenses begin to wear down late in games. As we’ve seen over the years with Kelly and the Eagles, if the players can adapt to the mentality and have the conditioning, then the talent level won’t matter as much the first season.
Nick Wagoner, Los Angeles Rams reporter: Looking at the Niners’ depth chart on offense probably doesn’t inspire much in the way of confidence among the faithful. Sometimes, a way to make up for a lack of talent is to lean on scheme. That’s why you see so many college teams running spread systems, because it can give them a chance to make up for what they might lack athletically. In this case, adding Kelly should help San Francisco’s offense improve over what it did last season. It will take some getting used to, but Kelly will stick with it and most likely get some results. It won’t be a cure-all because the Niners are still lacking pass-catchers who can help whichever quarterback is the starter on a down-to-down basis. Getting running back Carlos Hyde back healthy would go a long way in helping. Remember, Kelly’s offenses have been at their best when they run the ball successfully. The Eagles finished first in the NFL in rushing in 2013, which was also Kelly’s best year in Philly.
Sheil Kapadia, Seattle Seahawks reporter: In terms of tempo, offensive players will practice fast and should be well-conditioned at the start of the season. When Kelly’s offense took the league by storm in 2013, the Philadelphia Eagles had a great running game led by LeSean McCoy, a vertical passing attack headlined by DeSean Jackson and a quarterback who didn’t make mistakes in Nick Foles. In Carlos Hyde, Kelly has a running back who figures to see plenty of touches. And Torrey Smith is a receiver who can stretch the field. Quarterback is obviously a question mark. The question, to me, is more about how Kelly will adjust his scheme. His offense ranked third in efficiency in 2013 and then fell to 13th and 26th the next two seasons. The Eagles turned the ball over often, and defenses adjusted to what they saw in Kelly’s first year. His Eagles teams failed to peak late in the year, and the tempo put stress on Kelly’s defenses, which played a high number of snaps. The 49ers’ offensive talent is not top-tier, but the bigger question is: How will Kelly adjust his scheme to match the personnel?