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Wade Phillips might be defensive coordinator favorite in Washington

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Washington is searching for a defensive coordinator, and that search has included an interview of 49ers secondary coach Ed Donatell. Now it sounds like Wade Phillips might be favored to land the role.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers coaching search has overshadowed the search by current assistants for new jobs. We learned yesterday that Greg Roman might interview for the Buffalo Bills head coach job. This comes a few days after assistant offensive line coach Reggie Davis left to coach running backs at Nebraska.

Prior to all that, there was news that Washington requested permission from the 49ers to interview Vic Fangio and Ed Donatell for their vacant defensive coordinator job. The 49ers denied permission for Fangio to interview, but they let Donatell interview. And now, it sounds like Donatell and others might be slipping down the list. According to Bleacher Report's Jason Cole, former Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is viewed as the favorite to claim the job.

Phillips is supposed to interview on Tuesday, but he is viewed as a favorite heading into the interview because of his relationship with A.J. Smith (close to GM Bruce Allen), he knows Jay Gruden well, and he runs the kind of defense Washington is looking to develop.

Ed Donatell has been rumored to be a potential defensive coordinator for Vic Fangio. Donatell has been a popular request for DC roles, but the 49ers have declined such opportunities in recent years. There is some thought the 49ers will go with an internal hire like Jim Tomsula or Vic Fangio, but now we hear Mike Shanahan might be a favorite. If Fangio gets the 49ers job, it makes plenty of sense to promote Donatell to the DC role. If Tomsula gets it, Vic Fangio might stick around, or he might leave, so it would not be a shock if Donatell took a promotion there as well. If Mike Shanahan gets the job, all bets are off as to who sticks around and who leaves.