The 49ers interviewed Tom Coughlin yesterday and since then there has been no reports on any new candidates or 2nd round of interviews scheduled. Does this mean a decision will be made soon? Will the franchise have a new head coach by the end of the week? It’s quite possible the team will hire their head coach from the list of candidates they’ve interviewed.
Hue Jackson – Viewed as the top candidate for the 49ers due to his creative offensive mind. Hue Jackson interviewed with the team Sunday and reports were saying that he was going to be hired the same day by the 49ers. Those reports never came true and Hue finished his interview with the 49ers and went on to interview with the Browns. The past few days multiple reports were stating that the Browns were pushing hard to hire Hue as their next head coach and have recently scheduled a 2nd interview. The Giants also conducted an interview with Hue. Yesterday Tim Kawakami reported that the 49ers have cooled off on Hue Jackson, but will consider doubling back. Earlier this morning a new report came out saying the 49ers are confident with their pitch to Hue and they are not worried about the Browns. It seems like something might have happened during the interview. It could be that Baalke wants full personnel control and Hue might have disagreed or if Hue said he wants Kaepernick as his starter and Baalke disagreed. It’s a lot of moving parts especially with the big egos of Baalke and York. In the end I view Jackson going to Cleveland unless the Giants or 49ers sneak in with a power play move. Cleveland does not have a GM so Hue would be their top football guy in the office. So he would have more control over his roster.
Chip Kelly – Chip was one of the earlier candidates to interview with the team, but since that meeting Chips name hasn’t been heavily mentioned as Hue Jackson or Coughlins. Chips offense is the biggest selling point the 49ers are looking at, but also a concern since the time of possession will be switched and will be putting pressure on the 49ers defense. It could be the 49ers got enough from the interview to either move on from him or make him a strong candidate. I can see Chip reuniting with Mariota in Tennessee.
Tom Coughlin – The latest known interview candidate. Baalke and York threw a curveball here since Coughlins is 69 years old and they’ve only interviewed younger candidates. Coughlin is a 2 time Super Bowl champion and is known to command a locker room and is full of football knowledge. Connection here is Bill Parcells which both Baalke and Coughlin view as mentors. If Coughlin is hired I believe he would need to bring in Ben McAdoo as his offensive coordinator and top assistant and probably groom him to take over once Tom decides to move on. That would be the best scenario for the 49ers. McAdoo was in Green Bay last season and was Coughlins offensive coordinator with the Giants. McAdoo is also being considered for the Giants head coaching position. I view Coughlin as a power play to try and put pressure on Hue Jackson. Coughlin will probably stay within the Giants organization.
Dirk Koetter – Dirk was interviewed this past weekend and was being viewed as a pairing to one of the top candidates. He would probably be the coordinator for Hue Jackson if Jackson was hired. Dirk is a strong candidate for the Bucs head coaching position. He spent last season as their offensive coordinator. It would be smart for the Bucs and Dirk to stay unified and it would also help in the development of Jameis Winston. Unless Hue is hired I see Dirk staying in Tampa Bay.
Anthony Lynn and John DeFilippo – Lynn was viewed as the Rooney Rule interview and isn’t considered a strong candidate. He’s never been a head coach or a coordinator anywhere. Lynn was a former 49er. John Defilippo is linked to Chip Kelly and could be his offensive coordinator if Chip was hired or if any of the top candidates were hired. He’s from the Yorks hometown of Youngstown, Ohio.
Mike Shanahan – Shanahan interviewed last time around and the 49ers called on him earlier in the process. I believe that Mike is the best candidate out of all the names on this list. Shanahan has the rings, has the west coast pedigree he is part of the Bill Walsh coaching tree, and is well respected in the NFL. With his credentials he can put together a great staff. His name has cooled off due to the fact the he interviewed extensively last time around and the 49ers might have enough on him to either consider him or move on. Baalke and York could be hiding him also because he’s not being mentioned in other vacancies. Shanahan is my choice to land in San Francisco, but i’ll be surprised if they do hire him because that’s not what York and Baalke do. He’s older than most of the candidates, he could possibly want control over the roster, he’s linked to the 49ers glory days, and he’s also the popular pick within former 49er players and coaches. These are the qualities York and Baalke don’t look for.
The next head coach could be from this list or could be a secret candidate the Yorks have been interviewing away from the public eye. The worst they can do is hire either Chip Kelly or hire within the current staff and go with Mangini. The best they can do is Mike Shanahan. Hue Jackson is the wait and see guy, some people will like the hire and some will hate it.