“Are we ever transparent in what we do? I think … you know, and I think everybody else knows, this is going to be a search we’re going to conduct with a small group of people involved. A very small group. And we’re going to spend the next several weeks interviewing, seven to 10 days, hopefully. And then hopefully be in a position to make a decision at that point in time. But we’re going to take as long as necessary to make sure we have the right person in place.”
— Trent Baalke during the “mutual parting” press conference at Levi’s Stadium, which took place on Dec. 29 (14 days ago).
So, uh, are we looking at Steve Mariucci 2.0? Because the 49ers had all year to figure out who their next coach was going to be — since it’s clear that Jed York wasn’t all that happy with Jim Harbaugh since long before the 2014 season began — and they’re still head coach-less.
Matt Maiocco reported that the 49ers haven’t gotten back to Vic Fangio (who, as loyal readers know, would be my first choice if I was a power player in the 49ers’ front office instead of a lowly regional blogger) about the position after his first (and only) interview. If Fangio was their first choice, one would think they’d have given him the job by now. The same goes for Jim Tomsula, who’s been around the team for eight years. We can’t be absolutely certain that’s the case — perhaps the front office is having a difficult time coming to a consensus. But every day that goes by would presumably lower the odds that an internal candidate gets the job.
Or, perhaps they’re waiting on one of the coordinators who are coaching teams that are still in the playoffs.
Maiocco’s story I linked to earlier also included this list of known candidates:
Vic Fangio, 49ers defensive coordinator, interviewed Tuesday, Dec. 30
Dan Quinn, Seattle defensive coordinator, interviewed Tuesday, Dec. 30
Mike Shanahan, ex-Washington, Denver, L.A. Raiders coach, interviewed Thursday, Jan 1
Adam Gase, Denver offensive coordinator, interviewed Friday, Jan. 2
Josh McDaniels, New England offensive coordinator, interviewed Saturday, Jan. 3
Rex Ryan, ex-New York Jets coach, interviewed Sunday, Jan. 4. HIRED by Buffalo Bills, Monday, Jan. 12
Teryl Austin, Detroit defensive coordinator, interviewed Thursday, Jan. 8
Todd Bowles, Arizona defensive coordinator, interviewed Friday, Jan. 9
Jim Tomsula, 49ers defensive line, no known formal interview
Gase became available yesterday, but what are his credentials, exactly? “Great offensive mind … well, as long as a healthy Peyton Manning is calling the plays” doesn’t exactly lead one to think Gase is the next Bill Walsh.
Ryan took the Bills job and hired Greg Roman to be his offensive coordinator, proving yet again that NFL people and 49ers fans don’t see eye-to-eye on Roman’s value.
There isn’t much buzz around Austin, and Bowles’ agent says the 49ers have not contacted his client to schedule a second interview with his client. Shanahan is a wild card, but isn’t he the kind of powerful personality where he’d be an instant YES or NO from the moment his first interview is over?
This seems like a situation where Quinn or McDaniels has risen to No. 1 on their wish list. This would jive with a recent NFL.com report, which included the following tidbit: “The 49ers, while very high on Patriots’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, could also be a dark-horse candidate for Quinn, Rapoport said.”
So … I guess we should steel ourselves for the eventual hiring of McDaniels, who lasted 12 games into his second season as head coach of the Broncos before rejoining the Pats and coordinating one of the league’s top offenses. Ho-hum. If McDaniels gets the job and keeps Fangio around as the defensive coordinator, maybe Baalke can make good on his promise to “reload” (Not rebuild! This is not a rebuild situation!) the 49ers.
Then again, there’s also a report that McDaniels is expected to stay in New England. So maybe it’ll be Quinn. Or Dennis Erickson! Yep, definitely Erickson.