The San Francisco 49ers are the final team still looking for a new head coach, and with their search for a general manager mixed in, they are potentially working on some significant change within the organization. When a search for a head coach takes this long and potentially might require waiting until the completion of the Super Bowl, two schools of thought emerge. Some view it as a disadvantage, while others are not as concerned.
Got this from prominent agent: "Credit Elway for hiring HC quickly so top Asst pool available. SF losing choices by not hiring HC." #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) January 14, 2017
There are only so many assistant coaches, and as we are seeing with Wade Phillips and others, some of the best options might be coming off the market before the 49ers have a head coach. That’s just a fact that a lot of good assistants are going to be snapped up by the five new coaching staffs around the league.
At the same time, one former 49ers assistant does not view this as a significant problem. Ted Tollner spoke with Eric Branch and had this to say:
“My guess is that each of those candidates that are left has at least a partial staff put together,” said Tollner, the former head coach at USC and San Diego State. “And then there will be some spots where they’ll still be looking. I’d be surprised if they don’t already have four or five guys in mind. Because it’s a big discussion in the interview process: ‘Who is going to coming with you? Who can you get?’”
Let’s use Josh McDaniels as a hypothetical. If the 49ers decide to hire him, I would think given his interview experience and time in the NFL, he has an idea of assistants he would like to hire. And furthermore, he has likely had extensive discussions at one time or another with some of these options. Houston Texans LB coach Mike Vrabel is the first to come to mind, but I imagine there are others. Some might not be able to get out of their current contracts, but some will.
I don’t think we can say with absolute certainty that either philosophy is 100 percent correct. Klis spoke to an agent who might have his own interests to protect (for whatever reason), while Tollner made it clear it is a bit of a guess. I imagine there is a little bit of both to consider, but we’ll find out once the 49ers make their hire and start putting together the coaching staff.