The San Francisco 49ers coaching search is now a week old, which means we could be getting close to a final decision. Last Monday, Jed York and Trent Baalke discussed the search, and said it would hopefully take 7-10 days to be in position to make the decision. Trent Baalke also said they would take as long as necessary to find the right person.
Early in the search, Jim Tomsula was viewed as a favorite by some. In the week since, Vic Fangio reportedly had a strong interview, and then a report came out indicating Jed York thought Mike Shanahan was high on the list. Amidst all that, the 49ers continue the interviewing process. Tomsula reportedly has yet to interview, while Fangio and Shanahan are through their initial interviews. The list of interview candidates includes:
Teryl Austin - permission requested
Todd Bowles - reported interest, but now not entirely sure if permission requested
Adam Gase - interviewed
Josh McDaniels - interviewed
Dan Quinn - interviewed
Rex Ryan - interviewed
Kyle Shanahan - permission requested
The 49ers need to satisfy the Rooney Rule to make any hire, and that would be satisfied with the Austin or Bowles interview. Both seem like very qualified candidates to get a head coaching opportunity, but based on everything we've heard, neither seems highly likely to get the job. Of course, a strong interview could change that.
Jason Cole reported last week that Jed York was trying to decide if he needed to make a big name hire in light of all the criticism. He also suggested York was looking for someone with head coach experience. York also said he was looking for someone who would be around for the next ten years. Mike Shanahan would move up the list for the first two categories, but is the one candidate who is not likely to be a long-term option. On the other hand, he could potentially bring in his son Kyle Shanahan as offensive coordinator, and designated successor.
McDaniels gets a boost as a former head coach. He was not a particularly good head coach, but it is a situation from which he could have learned. Vic Fangio does not have head coaching experience, but he has the support of the current defense, as well as respect around the league. It remains to be seen whether that is enough to get him the job, but it at least makes things a little more interesting.
I would be inclined to guess that Fangio ends up getting the job, but it is hard to tell through all the noise. Jim Tomsula has not interviewed, but the rest of this process could all just be a smoke screen to eventually promote Tomsula. Or maybe Shanahan has enough support, and wow'd in his interview. Rex Ryan remains an X factor, but I am convinced he ends up on television during the 2015 season.
What is your prediction a week into this process?