While I'm not a big horse-racing fan, watching the Kentucky Derby, the highlight is hearing the announcer yell out, And dooooown the stretch they come. Surprisingly I couldn't come across any audio of that, although this is a highly entertaining close second (or just wildly lame).
I bring this up because we might finally be coming down the home stretch of the 49ers offensive coordinator search. Folks mentioned it in the OC thread, but I wanted to bring it up here: the 49ers brought back Hue Jackson for a second interview (Barrows, Maiocco). Why might this be the end of the road for this search? Well, the only other person to get a second interview was Scott Linehan, and he was offered the job.
A second reason this might be the end of the search is that the 49ers also brought in Mike Johnson to interview for the QB coach position. Johnson was actually out of the league this past season after being released from the Ravens staff when John Harbaugh was hired. Prior to that Johnson was the wide receivers coach in Baltimore in 2006 and 2007. Fun fact: Harbaugh hired our very own Jim Hostler to replace Johnson. Let's not hold that against him.
Prior to coaching the Ravens WRs, Johnson coached Michael Vick for 3 years as the Falcons QB coach after being receivers coach for one season (2002). Johnson actually does not have a wiki right now so the information is being cobbled together. Based on a combination of Barrows, Maiocco and a Scout.com article from 2006, it looks like Johnson was the Chargers QB coach (per the Scout article) in 2000. Before that he coached receivers and quarterbacks at Oregon State. If Johnson gets hired, I'll have a better layout of his coaching history.
While I think the signs point to Jackson getting the job, I also think we've been burned enough to know it's better to wait. If the 49ers do bring in Jackson and Johnson, I'd imagine there would be enough time to build a solid succession plan. Of course, a succession plan might not be an issue if the offense stinks up the joint and Jackson gets fired as Johnson might very well roll out the door with him.
However, all things considered, if this were to be the way the search wraps up, I'd be pretty satisfied in the end result. Although it's never been confirmed by Singletary (aside from actually interviewing the guy), there were rumors that Jackson was a guy Singletary was interested in from the beginning. Maybe he ranked Jackson and Linehan near enough to each other to offer it up to Linehan first, with the solid backup option still out there. Who knows.
While I enjoy having something to consistently write about in the offseason, I'd also like to wrap this up. Maiocco pointed to a big plus no matter who gets the job. The 49ers get an extra two voluntary minicamps since Mike Singletary is considered a "new coach" heading into 2008. MM reports that the first such camp will be just prior to the draft. Two minicamps can't hurt (barring the usual knock on wood stuff), but do people think it will help? I suppose with a new offense, the more practice you get the better. Just curious if anybody feels otherwise.