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Steve Mariucci, Nick Saban have talked up Adam Gase in the past

The San Francisco 49ers have been speaking with Adam Gase in recent days, as he could end up as the team's next head coach. He has some solid recommendations from strong coaches.

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers coaching search is midway through its third week, and it might be close to a conclusion. A report this morning from a Denver radio station said Adam Gase had agreed to be the 49ers next head coach. Multiple reports since then have said a deal is not done, but could happen, with Matt Barrows reporting Trent Baalke is expected to talk with Gase again later today.

Adam Gase got his coaching start with Steve Mariucci and the Detroit Lions. He started with the Lions as a scouting assistant in 2003 and 2004, and then became an offensive assistant in 2005 during Mariucci's final year as head coach. Gase spent that season and 2006 in the offensive assistant role. He wrapped up his coaching time with the Lions as quarterbacks coach in 2007.

Naturally, this has people speaking with Mooch about Gase. Cam Inman was the first, conducting a phone interview with Mooch earlier this week. Matt Maiocco followed that up with his own interview. A year ago, Jason LaCanfora spoke with Mooch in the week leading up to the Super Bowl.

Mooch primarily described Gase's work ethic, but also talked about how he is a great communicator. He did not go into a ton of detail about football specifics, but Mooch only spent a limited amount of time with Gase.

Prior to working for the Lions, Gase got his football start with Michigan State. He served as a student assistant with then head coach Nick Saban. He initially was helping with film and various bits of busy work. When Saban moved on to LSU, Gase followed him as a grad assistant in 2000. He followed that by serving as a recruiting assistant in 2001 and 2002. Saban had plenty of positive things to say about Gase in the LaCanfora article.

"It was easy to tell right off the bat that he had the right stuff to be a good coach," Saban said. "He worked hard, he got along great with the players, he was very bright and had sort of a natural instinct for football, and picking up on things, and those are the kinds of guys you grow and develop and they see the big picture a little more than some other guys who have to grind to know it and memorize things.

"It was a conceptual thing with Adam. He just understood how things worked, and he was willing to work and he started from ground zero; it's not like this is some star player who had played a lot of football. But he wanted to be a coach and he was willing to invest his time in it and he did a fantastic job for us, supporting our offensive coaches and our defensive staff as grad assistant and quality control guy after that."

Obviously none of this guarantees Gase will find success as a head coach. And the LaCanfora article was meant to be a positive feature on the offensive coordinator of one of the Super Bowl teams. But for now, it is certainly a starting point.