The San Francisco 49ers interviewed ESPN analyst Louis Riddick for their GM position earlier this week, and he has been regularly mentioned as a good option with Josh McDaniels. However, the seriousness of the 49ers interest in Riddick remains to be seen.
Former Washington executive Vinny Cerrato, who was Riddick’s boss at one point was on KNBR Thursday morning, and he said the 49ers have not reached out to him. He also said he was speaking with Eagles GM Howie Roseman, and Roseman told him the 49ers had not reached out yet.
“He worked for me and he worked for my good buddy Howie Roseman in Philly,” Cerrato said. “And, you know, it was interesting, I was texting with Howie the other day, he says, ‘It’s funny. He’s worked for me and you and San Francisco has not contacted either one of us about Louis.’ The two places that he worked. I guess they are just using what they see on television.
“I drafted him in San Fran when I was there. Louis worked me in Washington for a long time. He was my pro director. He’s very smart. He’s a very smart guy. He’s never been in the draft room on draft day. He wasn’t in Washington. I don’t think he was in Philly. But he’s never made a decision. If you are going to get a young coach and stuff, I think that would be very difficult, because I don’t know that he’s been in those situations to handle that.”
There are a few ways I would think we could take this. The first is that the 49ers are slowly working through their process and will be in touch with Cerrato and/or Roseman soon. The second is the 49ers are seriously looking at Riddick simply based on his TV work. The third is that the 49ers are not actually planning on hiring him, but wanted a chance to at least speak with him.
Prior to Cerrato’s radio appearance, USA Today NFL reporter Tom Pelissero was on KNBR, and he was skeptical about Riddick ending up with the 49ers. He had this to say (audio):
I’ve seen people write that, I have not gotten that impression within the league. Louis Riddick is someone who, I know, there are folks in the league who think that he’s very good on television, that he’s done a very good job, and that he would get a look from ownership. Ultimately looking through the process that the 49ers have gone through and the state of the franchise, I don’t see them going in that direction. I’m also not in on the interviews. I can’t compare from one to another.
I look at some of the other scouts they’ve talked to. Talking to an Eliot Wolf in Green Bay, planning to talk to Trent Kirchner up next week in Seattle, wanting to talk to Nick Caserio, who would presumably only be involved if Josh McDaniels ends up taking the job. Those are sort of the starting points. George Paton with the Minnesota Vikings. All those guys are sort of respected scouts from very good programs. Nothing against Louis Riddick, but when you’re talking about building a culture, I’d start out looking at the places that already have that culture, and how you’re going to be able to draw from it.
Everybody can look and say, well, Gus Bradley took a job as a coach out of Seattle, and that didn’t work. And all these former Belichick assistants from New England, that didn’t work. And that stuff’s true. But you still want somebody who in my mind, has been around it at a very high level, knows what a positive culture’s supposed to be like, and figures out how you can transfer that to San Francisco.
Maybe we hear some rumors about the 49ers reaching out to Riddick’s former bosses. There have been reports Riddick had a strong interview, but again, it’s all anonymous reports, so we take it with a grain of salt. Maybe the 49ers just are not as interested in Riddick as he is in them, and that means he is unlikely to get a second interview. We’ll never know everything about this scenario, but that’s where the evidence and speculation could lead us.