Sports

Chip Kelly ready to coach ‘heck out of’ Kaepernick

New San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly gestures during a media conference Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif.
New San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly gestures during a media conference Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. AP

Coach Chip Kelly said Wednesday he continues to have contact with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, including a phone call on Tuesday. But as he’s been saying since he took over as 49ers coach, the conversations have centered on Kaepernick’s health and the two have not discussed the quarterback’s desire – or lack thereof – to remain with the team.

Kelly noted that league rules prohibit coaches from talking about strategy or football matters until players report for the offseason program. For the 49ers, that date is April 4.

If he’s here on April 4 we’re going to coach the heck out of him and he’s going to work his (tail) off.

Chip Kelly, 49ers coach, on Colin Kaepernick

“If he’s here on April 4 we’re going to coach the heck out of him, and he’s going to work his (tail) off,” Kelly said at San Jose State’s pro-day workouts12 miles from 49ers headquarters.

Kelly had similar comments at last month’s scouting combine in Indianapolis, saying that Kaepernick “wants to be here” in the offseason. A few hours later, however, Kaepernick’s agents asked for permission to seek a trade.

The 49ers recently have been in contact with the Broncos and Browns about Kaepernick. However, trade talks stalled late last week. The Broncos and 49ers remain far apart on compensation for the quarterback. The Browns and Kaepernick’s agents, meanwhile, can’t agree on a restructured contract.

If the 49ers don’t get a good offer for the quarterback, they say they are prepared to keep him on the roster for 2016. The hope is that Kaepernick begins to work with Kelly, sees his potential in Kelly’s up-tempo offense and changes his mind about leaving the team.

Kelly said he and Kaepernick have also exchanged texts.

Kaepernick is in Vail, Colo., where he is rehabilitating from surgeries to his shoulder, knee and thumb. He is expected to be at the team facility for a physical on Friday.

“He says he’s doing well, progressing nicely,” Kelly said.

Kelly and a large contingent of 49ers assistant coaches and scouts were on hand at San Jose State, which has one of the better running backs in the draft in Tyler Ervin.

Kelly said he will attend Stanford’s and Cal’s pro days later this week but that he doesn’t plan to go far afield for other sessions as he did last year with the Eagles.

For example, 49ers scouts were at Michigan State on Wednesday to watch quarterback Connor Cook’s workout. The 49ers and Rams visited with Cook before the session while the Browns met with him after, ESPN reported.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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