We have reached a bit of an odd time in the search process. The 49ers are the only team searching for a general manager, and now they are the only team left searching for a head coach. They have conducted numerous interviews for both positions, and we are left with almost a logic game of mixing and matching potential matches for the GM and head coach jobs.
Late Thursday afternoon, Matt Maiocco put together a bit of a dump of various pairings that might make sense. It’s an interesting article for figuring out some of the options and how this could all play out. It is worth noting he specifically pointed out that, “the 49ers are high on Green Bay director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst.”
The 49ers have three head coach candidates at this point in Kyle Shanahan, Josh McDaniels, and Tom Cable. Two days ago, Matt Barrows pointed out that Cable is in the mix because Seattle Seahawks co-directors of player personnel Trent Kirchner and Scott Fitterer would likely bring him along as their head coach. Cable brings baggage, so that could factor into the two executives interviews.
According to Maiocco, Louis Riddick and Eliot Wolf could be connected to Josh McDaniels, while Cardinals executive Terry McDonough would appear to be connected to Kyle Shanahan. Maiocco said Brian Gutekunst and George Paton could potentially work with either McDaniels or Shanahan.
This has been a fairly unique process given how the 49ers are seemingly trying to pair two separate pieces together. Normally a team hires a GM, and then the GM hires a coach. The 49ers are trying to create relationships on the fly, as we saw with this report about the 49ers giving Sean McVay phone numbers to contact Wolf and Gutekunst. In some ways, as Steve Berman pointed out, we might just be rooting for dumb luck.