Early this morning while scanning my twitter-feed I saw Adam Schefter's face and the word "49ers", which made me pay close attention. Schefter tweeted that the 49ers requested permission to interview Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Hue Jackson for the head coaching vacancy.
My first thought was: Rooney Rule, not that Jackson isn't very deserving of a HC gig, but more because the all-understood feeling is that Jim Harbaugh is the top candidate for the job, and now that the Orange Bowl was over perhaps the 49ers are getting the token Rooney interview out of the way so they can ink Harbaugh to a deal ASAP.
Last week it was reported that Marvin Lewis' camp reached out to the 49ers and that the team would likely speak to him as a potential candidate for the HC job. Lewis would have fulfilled the Rooney requirements if interviewed as well.
Today it's being reported that Lewis is expected to stay in Cincinnati, and there have been no reports that any interview with San Francisco actually took place.
Still, there's something odd about all of these HC interviews being rumored...make the jump and let's explore further.
Of course, the 49ers don't even have a GM officially named yet, despite rumors that Trent Baalke was going to get the promotion, including GM candidate Michael Lombardi stating last week that he felt Baalke would be named within 48 hours (that time frame passed).
Matt Maiocco quickly pointed out that Jed York said the new GM would hire the new head coach, and since no GM has yet been named...maybe Jed was conducting the HC interviews himself...otherwise Baalke must be the new GM.
However there has been some speculation that perhaps Jim Harbaugh would only come to San Francisco if Michael Lombardi were the GM...or at least that Harbaugh might not be comfortable with the current structure in the front office, including Baalke.
Perhaps Lombardi and Harbaugh are tied together and thus they would be brought in simultaneously, so to speak. In this case Jed and Trent would have to at the very least satisfy the Rooney Rule for head coaches so that they could ink Harbaugh and Lombardi. That would explain why the Hue Jackson interview was taking place without a GM officially in place.
John Elway, recently hired to the Denver Broncos front office, was also at the game on the Stanford sidelines and as honorary captain for his alma mater.
Finally, just as I was about to publish this story, reports from ESPN New York say that the 49ers have asked permission to speak with Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell.
The plot thickens...