No one knows for certain whether Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase would be a great catch for an NFL team with a head coaching vacancy. However, according to Greg Papa on 95.7 The Game’s “The Wheelhouse,” Trent Baalke had the 36-year-old coach on the hook on Wednesday … but 49ers CEO Jed York decided to toss Gase back into the sea.
The conversation between Papa and John Lund started on Thursday afternoon (about an hour before the Tomsula press conference) with a clip from an interview with 49ers nose tackle Quinton Dial from a while back.
You can listen here — the exchange starts at 10:45.
Papa: Could (Jim Tomsula) handle the whole team though, Quinton? I know he’s good with your group, the defense and the d-line. Could he coach the entirety of the football team, do you think?
Dial: I don’t know about that. That’s a lot of responsibility.
Papa: What do you mean? That’s not a ringing endorsement, man. The owner might be listening.
Dial: I mean, I ain’t saying he can’t, I ain’t saying he can. I just don’t know.
After they went back to the live broadcast, Lund and Papa bantered for a bit about Dial’s tepid response to Papa’s question. Then Papa brought up a very, very interesting rumor that — if true — would go against several things the 49ers said on Thursday about Tomsula.
“What I heard yesterday was that they had a verbal agreement to give it to Adam Gase. And they were going to fly him out here and at the last moment, Jed backed out,” said Papa.
From Thursday’s press conference:
“We met with some of the best coaches, the best young coaches in the profession,” Baalke said.
“It’s hard when you’re interviewing people to find individuals that check all of the boxes you’re looking for. A lot of the guys that we talked to, you could check a lot of those boxes. But I kept coming back, to and we kept coming back to as a group, Jim Tomsula, because all of those boxes that we were talking about, he checked. We interviewed Jim initially, then we brought him back in for a second interview and at that time still were undecided on what direction we wanted to go, but always knew that all of the boxes we were looking for were checked [with Jim].”
Jed York didn’t say a whole lot, but there were a few tidbits worth reviewing.
“This is our pick and I think that’s the most important thing. It’s our pick as the San Francisco 49ers. In terms of me, did I know Jim was going to be our head coach of the San Francisco 49ers? We talked to Jim yesterday around 11 a.m,” said York.
The following exchange was fun:
Baalke: “This is about each and every player holding themselves accountable, each and every person on the staff holding themselves accountable. Let’s not try to put this one person’s lap because that’s not at all what we’re trying to do. We’re looking at this from an organizational perspective with the understanding that we all, and I emphasize that we all have to do a better job and that starts with me.”
York: “It starts with me.”
Baalke: “Yeah, it starts with you.”
And here’s the beginning of Baalke’s Q&A in the locker room a few minutes after the press conference ended:
Q: Did you offer the job to Adam Gase?
Q: You flew out to Colorado and that was just the interview process?
Baalke: “That was part of the interview process, exactly. Like we said in there, we’re not going to get into specifics in anything. The job is offered to one person and one person only. That is Jim Tomsula.”
Update (7:45 am PST, Jan. 16)
Papa isn’t the only radio personality who’s heard something about the Gase/49ers discussions. I’ve never heard of Nate Lundy or Kevin Sherrets, who both work for 104.3 The Fan in Denver. Papa has been an established television and radio personality for decades, so I’m not sure that these rumors should be on equal footing, but here they are (h/t @NinersNation):
— Nate Lundy (@natelundy) January 14, 2015
We are hearing that Gase actually turned down the 49ers job and not the other way around. Looks as if @natelundy had it right!
— Kevin Sherrets (@KSherrets1043FM) January 15, 2015
Apparently 104.3 The Fan (KKFN) was acquired by Entercom (which owns Papa’s station, KGMZ) in December. According to radioinsight.com, “To comply with market cap limits in Denver, Sports ‘104.3 The Fan’ KKFN Longmont will be placed in the Pikes Peak Trust run by Elliot Evers for divestiture to a third party.”
And I might as well throw this one in, just to break up the radio party:
— KTVU Sports Dept. (@ktvusports) January 14, 2015