Much was made of Chip Kelly’s visit to Tuscaloosa two weeks ago, but the new San Francisco 49ers coach says it did not amount to much more than a chill session with Nick Saban.
“I was home in New Hampshire and Nick asked me if I would come down just to watch football,” Kelly said at Wednesday’s introductory press conference. “And I had nothing to do with them playing Clemson or I didn’t give them any insight into playing Clemson.”
Kelly, who rose to national fame at Oregon near the turn of the decade and then — earlier this month — left the Philadelphia Eagles on bitter terms, was grateful for the short Alabama reprieve.
He called it a “classy manuever” by Saban to “take 45 minutes out of his day during that week to talk to me about his experience in the National Football League and what it’s like to coach at Alabama and just share some thoughts.”
Saban’s first and only bid as an NFL head coach (Miami, 2005-2006) ended in similarly lukewarm fashion.
“I think we all kind of gravitate towards each other and I think one of the things we do is we all love the game, have a passion for the game and we want to see it played and done the right way,” Kelly said.