Niners coach Chip Kelly subscribes to the no medals for trying theory.
When asked about moral victories after Sunday’s 31-24 loss and how players have credited themselves with not packing it in amid a one-win season and 10-game losing streak, Kelly’s response was just about what you’d expect.
“They’re professionals and I think they’re all competitors so I don’t know what they’d gain from packing it in,” Kelly said, via CSN Bay Area. “Is that going to make them feel better? They want to straighten this thing out so they’re going to go out and compete and we’ve got a bunch of competitors in there that want to go win.
“I don’t want anybody to pat them on the back and tell them that ‘Hey, you did a good job. You were close.’ They’re grown men, they want to win and they’ll continue to work that way. They’ve practiced great all year long. They’ve had great attitudes in terms of what they’ve got to do when we go out to the practice field and I don’t think that’s in anybody’s mindset. I think it is questions that are asked from the outside, but there’s never been a question about cheap jerseys and that from the inside.”
Even if his players aren’t saying it, at some point we wonder if they’d like some sort of emotional assurance from Kelly. Sunday’s game against the Dolphins was fantastic, and included some pretty incredible plays from San Francisco’s defense, wideout Jeremy Kerley jersey and quarterback Colin Kaepernick. While it doesn’t fit with Kelly’s football-Navy Seals milieu, some acknowledgement that they nearly beat a potential playoff team with a severely abbreviated playbook and pared-down roster would probably make them feel a little better.
NFL players are grown men but they’re different than the kinds of players Kelly was able to cultivate and mold as a college head coach. Maybe, after getting your emotional savvy attacked by a former owner, trying something different can help.
The team will work out Cal QB Jared Goff jersey, as well as some Golden Bears wide receivers, on Wednesday, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday.
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NFL Media draft expert Mike Mayock rates Goff as the draft’s No. 2 quarterback behind North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz, who will be working out for the Eagles on Wednesday, per Rapoport. San Francisco holds the No. 7 overall pick, while the Eagles are slated to make their first selection one pick later. If Goff isn’t selected by the Cleveland Browns at No. 2, the 49ers at No. 7 would be the team with the most pressing QB need to next go on the clock.
Kaepernick was benched last season in favor of Blaine Gabbert, but Rapoport reported earlier this week that the 49ers won’t cut Kaepernick before his contract becomes fully guaranteed this week and won’t trade him unless they’re “blown away” by an offer. His $11.9 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed for 2016 if he’s not cut by Thursday at 4 p.m. ET.
Whether Kaepernick stays with the team or not might not have much, or any, impact on the club’s interest in drafting a quarterback this year. Kaepernick and Gabbert are expected to compete for the starting job in 2016, and the 49ers could add a rookie to that mix if they draft one in the early rounds.
The former UCLA linebacker will be among the prospects visiting San Francisco this weekend, per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley and four cornerbacks — Ohio State’s Eli Apple, Clemson’s Mackensie Alexander, Maryland’s Sean Davis and Minnesota’s Eric Murray — are among the 49ers’ other visitors this weekend, according to Rapoport.
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Jack visited the Ravens, Jaguars and Falcons earlier this week.
The 49ers hold the No. 7 overall pick, and Jack figures to be tough to pass on if he’s available when they’re on the clock. All four NFL Media analysts that have posted top-50 rankings place Jack among the top three prospects in the draft. He goes as high as No. 4 overall to the Cowboys and as low as No. 10 to the Giants in NFL Media mock drafts.
Jack suffered a season-ending right knee injury during practice in September and underwent surgery on the knee. He received medical clearance from UCLA’s surgeon in early March and participated in UCLA’s pro day on March 15, where he posted an impressive 40-inch vertical, even though he said he was only at 80 percent for the workout. However, he’s unlikely to run a 40-yard dash for NFL teams before the April 28-30 draft. Jack’s knee will be examined next week at the league’s annual medical recheck in Indianapolis.
Stanley, Apple and Alexander are considered among the top prospects at their respective positions. Stanley is considered a likely top-10 pick.
Alexander strengthened his case to go in the first round with a strong pro-day showing last month. The Rams’ first-round pick is in the range of the highest point in which NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks believes Alexander could be selected.
Brooks views the early second round as Alexander’s draft floor. If he’s still available, Alexander would be a nice value pick for the 49ers (pick No. 37) or Rams (pick Nos. 43 and 45) in Round 2.