The new year is here, but the offseason is still just getting underway. The San Francisco 49ers are currently a swirling vortex of head coaching rumors and trying to make sense of any of it is probably a fool's errand. I take a look at the long list of coaches the 49ers have been linked to and I honestly don't know which one sounds the best at this point.
That probably has a lot to do with my conflicting views surrounding owner Jed York. Before that press conference, I thought he was a competitive, driven guy but after it I'm struggling to determine who would be a good head coaching candidate. I think Mike Shanahan would be awful and would clash, but there are some other guys who are interesting to me. For some reason I don't hate the idea of Rex Ryan or Gary Kubiak, but I'm not exactly sure what that reason is.
Anyway, playoff football was pretty decent on Saturday. Hopefully it's better tonight, though. Onto your 49ers links for the day.
First, I wanted to note this link from the Bay Area Sports Guy about Jim Harbaugh's departure. It's a few days old but I'm just coming across it now and I think it absolutely nails something that's being overlooked. I can't quite come up with a percentage as to who is the most to blame for Harbaugh leaving, but it's certainly not 100 percent the fault of the owners.
This piece doesn't really touch up on one aspect though: I think Harbaugh was honestly just sick of dealing with fully grown adults and the adult problems they come with. He speaks best to college kids, and I think that support the argument in this post. | Jim Harbaugh is a college coach, through and through (which means Jed York was right about it being "mutual") (Bay Area Sports Guy)
Let's stick with the sports guy for another solid piece that's a couple days old: grades of Trent Baalke thus far as general manager. I'll say that I'm pretty happy with Baalke as a whole, he's helped develop a very strong roster though we'll never know how many of the busts were on him or on other coaches. I mean, who's guy was A.J. Jenkins, really? | Grading Trent Baalke's tenure as 49ers GM (Bay Area Sports Guy)
I honestly don't know how I feel about defensive lineman Lawrence Okoye. I like that the 49ers are really pursuing this project, but at some point, we have to understand that the whole college system exists for a reason, and a move like this hasn't really worked out for a team in the past. I think the best thing about it is that it's not a huge investment. I don't exactly have high hopes for him, but I'd be stoked to be proven wrong. | Project remains in progress: DL Okoye signs reserve/future deal (Branch)
Not so sure this is terribly likely, or even a good idea. I'm as upset as the next guy about the 49ers' crummy product on the field and the crummy fan experience at Levi's Stadium, but anyone who forked over the ridiculous amount of money for a PSL probably shouldn't be expecting a refund. They knew what they were getting into. Let's also not forget how much more pressure this puts on the mystery head coach candidate of the future. | How can Jed York hold himself accountable? My idea: Offer PSL-holders a refund if the 49ers don't win a Super Bowl in 2 years (Kawakami)
Washington wanted to interview Vic Fangio for its defensive coordinator position, but the 49ers declined. That's a good move -- especially as we have no idea what's going to happen with Fangio and whether or not he's going to remain in San Francisco. If the 49ers get an offensive coach I'd love it if Fangio could stick around but I guess we'll see what happens. | Bills, 49ers won't let defensive coordinators interview in Washington (PFT)
Pretty telling that Fangio wasn't granted permission to interview for a defensive coordinator job, but Greg Roman is free to do as he pleases, no? | Report: Roman interviews for Bucs' coordinator job (Maiocco)
Jim Tonsula is a really interesting figure for me. I like him a lot and think he deserves a shot at something bigger than defensive line coach, though it sounds like that would only happen if he earns a head coaching role. We've heard talk of Ed Donatell taking over the defensive coordinator job of Vic Fangio were promoted, which would leave Tomsula where he's at, etc. I think I might prefer Tomsula as head coach simply because he's a bit further off from the top a season ago, and therefore a little less responsible for the issues. But I guess we'll have to see what happens. Hard not to root for the guy, though. | Will 49ers' 'little fat guy' land their big job? (Branch)
While I have my misgivings about Mike Shanahan thanks to the potential power issue with 49ers brass, I really dislike the idea of having both Mike and Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco. Some of the issues that arose in Washington came from reported preferential treatment of Kyle from Mike and I don't want any of that business. Doesn't sound like a smart move. | Report: 49ers inquire about Cleveland O.C. Kyle Shanahan (Gutierrez)
49ers coaching candidates: Pros and cons (Barrows)