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NFL Insiders: 49ers Believe 'Situation In Philly, Not Chip Kelly's Fault'

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- One month after Chip Kelly became the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, almost exactly three years ago, he immediately hired Tom Gamble to be the team's vice president of player personnel.

But a few days before Kelly was given complete control of the 90-man roster after two 10-win seasons, Gamble and the Eagles mysteriously "parted ways."

Gamble, almost immediately upon leaving Philly, was re-hired by the San Francisco 49ers in January of 2015. And on Thursday -- 16 days after the Eagles fired Kelly despite a 26-21 record, he was named head coach of the 49ers, rejoining his buddy Gamble in San Fran.

According to FOXSports' insider Mike Garafolo, the 49ers believe the volatile power structure in Philadelphia was not Kelly's fault.

"The situation in Philly maybe wasn't so much his fault," Garafolo said Thursday on The Colin Cowherd Show, speaking from the 49ers' perspective. "And the reason that I say that is, because that's the impression that they would have gotten from Tom Gamble who was in Philadelphia when Chip Kelly was in Philadelphia and now is in San Francisco. And I can tell you for a fact that he explained to the 49ers, 'You guys are nuts if you don't interview this guy. I'm not saying you gotta hire him, but we are crazy if we don't bring this guy in here and at least listen to what he has to say, let him speak his mind about what happened in Philly, let him explain why he thinks he failed.'

"And look, he has his shortcomings -- I've mentioned them," Garafolo continued. "He has to learn to relate to the players better on the NFL level. But when I say it's a splashy hire, it's a guy with all that success he had in college and two 10-6 seasons to start his NFL career. I think it's a great hire."

Garafolo expanded on FOX Sports Live, as well.

When Kelly received personnel control in Philly on January 2nd, 2015, Howie Roseman was relieved of his general manager duties. Upon firing Kelly just one year later, Eagles' owner Jeffrey Lurie announced Roseman will head the personnel department, again.

Another insider echoed the same sentiment, explaining a source tells him the 49ers do not believe Kelly wants personnel power.

"Speaking to a source with the 49ers, they don't believe that Chip Kelly is hungry for more power,"'s NFL insider Matt Maiocco said on Thursday. "The feeling with the 49ers' organization is that Chip Kelly wanted the power with the Eagles because he didn't think that anybody else was capable of running the personnel side."

According to Maiocco's source, Gamble "spoke up for Kelly and played a pivotal role" in his hiring with the 49ers.

The Eagles will reportedly replace Kelly with Doug Pederson, the offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs.



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