The San Francisco 49ers interviewed Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter over the weekend, but like with a lot of candidates, competition was expected for his services. Koetter has another interview under his belt. Bucs beat writer Rick Stroud is reporting the Bucs formally interview Koetter for their head coach position.
The Bucs fired head coach Lovie Smith in a bit of a surprise move, but immediately after that news, the expectation was that Koetter was high on their list. However, Koetter's interview comes after we already heard the Bucs interviewed Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin and Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. It could just be a slow play of the process, but it does leave me wondering what Koetter's status is like with the Bucs.
The 49ers search is dragging along, and people might be starting to get a little nervous in Santa Clara. James Brady heard this from a source:
Some within 49ers thought a deal was done with multiple candidates -- now a lot of nervousness, per source.— James Brady (@JamesBradySBN) January 12, 2016
The 49ers were connected with Sean Payton, but that did not work out. Although there was never any leaked discussion, there was some thought both sides were interested. Payton eventually returned to the Saints, although one has to wonder if he used leverage with the 49ers interest to secure his own power.
The team seemed to then think it had something close to done with Hue Jackson, at least based on the reports out there. Now, we are hearing the team might be backing off with word the Cleveland Browns are putting on a full court press. Maybe the 49ers thought that was a done deal, and then decided to take a step back.
We don't know anything about any of this with certainty, but there is one thing we do know with almost absolute certainty. When the 49ers eventually do hire a head coach, if anybody asks about these other candidates, the 49ers brass will say the guy they hired was the guy they wanted. Maybe not in those specific words, but the point will remain.