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NFL coach search news, January 8th: 49ers targeting Hue Jackson, Dolphins want Gase, Titans in la-la land

Coach Watch takes a huge turn as some names start to take shape.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers head coach search has some life! Right after Coach Watch was published last night,  Matt Maiocco tweeted out that the team had interviewed former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. So Chip Kelly's interest was finally returned in kind. As far as how the interview went, Matt Barrows tweeted out that Chip Kelly is a fan of Colin Kaepernick.

And then...Hue Jackson happened. We'll have more on that in a bit, but let's get to....

The Connections:

John Defilippo, Offensive Coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, was scheduled to interview with the 49ers today. Did we say interview? We meant "Informational Meeting" per Ian Rapoport. What this means could be anyone's guess. Defilippo has only had one year of experience in the role of offensive coordinator. Prior to that, he served mostly as a quarterback coach for several teams both in the NFL and college. Cleveland has retained their staff after firing Mike Pettine, but like we reported earlier, the St. Louis Rams are interviewing Defilippo for an offensive coordinator role and the Browns aren't exactly saying no to looking at the same job elsewhere.

The Carolina Panthers were contacted by the 49ers about Mike Shula, the team's offensive coordinator per Matt Barrows. Cam Newton is having a possible MVP season under Shula who began as the Panthers' quarterbacks coach. Prior to Carolina, Shula was the quarterbacks coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars who helped David Garrard develop into a serviceable starting quarterback (Garrard made the Pro Bowl in 2009 under Shula). Shula's last head coaching role was at the University of Alabama in 2006. Unfortunately, Shula's agent also mentioned in a Matt Barrows article that Shula will not grant interviews until after the Panthers are out of the playoffs.

Other Candidates:

Mike Holmgren still hasn't heard back from the 49ers

This brings us to....

Scheduled Interviews:

Rather than try to sum up the craziness that happened today, let's just let the drama of Tim Kawakami take over:

Oh, and it gets better:

So there you have it. Hue Jackson likes the 49ers. There has not been a hire yet, so anything can happen. Remember, there was a lot of likes, and strong feelings towards candidates until Jim Tomsula came out of left field. The 49ers have less competition; Dolphins beat writer Armando Salguero reported the Dolphins have cancelled Jackson's interview.That leaves the Browns and the 49ers fighting for his services.

One last thing on Jackson: if the 49ers decide to go with the Bengals offensive coordinator, expect an announcement later than sooner. Despite how well he interviews and if the 49ers are ready to offer the job on the spot, nothing official can be announced until after the Bengals season ends.

Coach Tracker:

So why did the Miami Dolphins cancel Hue Jackson's interview? Because they are bringing in Adam Gase for another interview. Gase is the second interview for the Dolphins, and according to Salguero, they are zeroing in on the coach. Right before Coach Watch was published,  NBC Sports also tweeted out this:

Bottom line: Don't expect a 49ers interview with Gase.

The Cleveland Browns have interviewed Dallas Cowboys secondary coach Jerome Henderson for the head coaching role as per Mary Kay Calbot.

Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott will interview with the Browns on Sunday.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to interview Harold Goodwin as per Pro Football Talk.

As for the Titans? I'm sure a few of us may have forgotten about them. It's ok, you aren't the only ones:

Looks like the Titans forgot about the Titans too...


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