We're going on almost a week and a half since Mike Martz was shown the door as the offensive coordinator. In that time, the organization has been rather tight-lipped about who their considering for the position. Up to this points, two names have slipped out via Maiocco and Barrows: Scott Linehan and now Tom Rathman. We'll discuss Linehan at another point. For now, Tom Rathman raises some interesting questions worth discussing.
Coach Singletary mentioned Rathman as a guy he was interested in talking with, although no mention was made of what position exactly. Two options exist with Rathman. They could of course hire him for the big job, as offensive coordinator. Such a move would be ballsy at best, downright stupid at worst. Although nobody will call him the next Jim Hostler, it's certainly worth keeping in mind how that went down. A guy like Linehan may not be absolutely awesome, but he's got the experience that would be beneficial to this team.
The upside to Rathman the offensive coordinator, as Barrows was quick to point out, is that: 1) he's got the hard-nosed running style that Singletary is looking for, and 2) he's a nice connection to the glory days.
The second option is one I'm wildly intrigued by. Rathman comes on as running backs coach (it would be his second tenure at that position with the 49ers) and is basically groomed to become the next offensive coordinator. Such an idea is thrown out there by Ann Killion over at the Mercury News. The argument for this type of hire is that you get the best of both worlds. You can bring in someone experienced, like say a Scott Linehan and when he goes off for a head-coaching job, your RB coach is right there to take over.
This brings me to my own question of the hour. Every offensive coordinator starts at some lower position on the food chain. In the case of the Bill Walsh tree, a lot of these guys went from offensive assistant, to quarterbacks coach, to offensive coordinator. I'm wondering if QB coach to OC is a necessity to become an effective offensive coordinator?
On the one hand, the QB is one guy who is involved in every single play offensive play, even if it is just handing off the ball. As QB coach you have to know enough about the run game to work with your QB. However, if, like Singletary wants, the 49ers become a power running team, is a running backs coach promotion just as do-able? I've honestly been pondering this since Mike Martz was fired, and obviously this has become a hot-button issue with you guys.
I thought about throwing up a poll but it's not a black and white issue, given the availability of other options. So the basic question is how do you feel about Tom Rathman as a potential hire for the 49ers? Do you want him in as OC now? Would you prefer him in as RB coach with an experienced OC ahead of him, with Rathman being groomed to take over? Would you prefer Rathman as RB coach and nothing more? Am I out of my mind to think someone other than a QB coach can be groomed as a future OC? So many questions and thankfully we've got plenty of time to answer them.
Also, someone at Silver and Black Pride put up a FanPost mentioning the 49ers interest in Rathman. I threw up a comment asking them about Rathman's performance in Oakland. We'll see what kind of response I get.