The San Francisco 49ers are willing to find out if Chip Kelly can breathe life into their stagnant offense. They've tabbed the former University of Oregon and Philadelphia Eagles coach as Jim Tomsula's successor.
"As one of the most historic franchises in the National Football League, I realize the high standards and expectations that this position demands and I embrace the challenges ahead," Kelly said in a team-issued statement.
Kelly's selection Thursday caps an 11-day search that included seven other known candidates, including Mike Shanahan.
Kelly's introductory news conference isn't expected to occur until next Tuesday or Wednesday, as he compiles his staff, according to a team spokesman.
"My immediate focus is to build the best coaching staff possible, one that will maximize the abilities of each of our players and put us in the best position to win football games," Kelly added.
The 49ers' personnel power still belongs to general manager Trent Baalke, who's insisted that all coaches have had input on roster decisions since he took over in 2010.
"Chip possesses all the qualities we were looking for in our next head coach," Baalke said in a statement. "He has demonstrated the ability to be innovative everywhere he has coached and has had great success throughout his career.
"Chip's passion for the game and vision for the future of this team clearly stood out to us during the search process," Baalke continued. "He is an extremely driven individual that I look forward to working with."
Immediate reaction among 49ers players was mixed.
Colin Kaepernick reserved comment until he first speaks with Kelly to learn whether he's wanted to reprise his role as the starting quarterback. Meanwhile, wide receiver Torrey Smith quipped on social media that he needs to start running to get in shape for Kelly's up-tempo system.
Kelly wasn't connected, at least publicly, to any of the NFL's six other head-coaching vacancies after the Eagles fired him Dec. 29. He is only the second 49ers coach since 1970 to be hired with previous NFL head-coaching experience, the other being Dennis Erickson, who went 9-23 from 2003-04.
Chiefs losing OC
Doug Pederson, the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs and a former backup quarterback in the NFL, accepted an offer to become the Eagles' coach, a person with knowledge of the decision told the Associated Press on Thursday night.
Pederson, 47, can't be officially hired while the Chiefs are in the playoffs. Kansas City plays at New England on Saturday. He met with the Eagles in Kansas City last Sunday morning after the Chiefs beat Houston 30-0 to advance to the second round.
He has been credited with helping Alex Smith's steady improvement in Kansas City.
• Patriots defensive lineman Chandler Jones apologized to his teammates and the New England fans for "a pretty stupid mistake" that sent him, shirtless and disoriented, to the Foxborough Police station on Sunday morning. Police who went to his house said it smelled like burning marijuana. Coach Bill Belichick declined to comment on whether Jones would be benched for his behavior. "We'll find out on Saturday," he said dismissively.
• Ben McAdoo will be introduced as the New York Giants' new head coach on Friday morning. McAdoo, 38, has been the Giants' offensive coordinator the past two seasons.
• The Tennessee Titans agreed to terms with Jon Robinson, Tampa Bay's director of player personnel, as their general manager. They also confirmed interviewing Doug Marrone for their head coach opening.
• Chicago Bears right tackle Kyle Long was selected to his third straight Pro Bowl as an injury replacement for the Eagles' Jason Peters.