Fooch’s update: McDaniels has removed his name from consideration.
The San Francisco 49ers have wrapped up their head coach interviews for the time being, and right now it is hard to tell what the next step is between Josh McDaniels, Kyle Shanahan, and Tom Cable. They can hire Cable immediately, or they can wait for McDaniels or Shanahan to finish their playoff run.
In the meantime, questions about whether or not McDaniels will take the job are starting to swirl. On Sunday night, Pro Football Talk reported that McDaniels was in touch with potential assistants, but was hesitant about taking the job due to the instability of the situation. PFT pointed to his short stint in Denver and the fact that he would be move his family of six across the country. Concerns about the quick trigger in firing Chip Kelly and Jim Tomsula might have him uncertain.
On Monday, MMQB editor Peter King published his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback column, and he included some thoughts on McDaniels and the 49ers situation. He thinks the 49ers are in a good spot because they still have two candidates (McDaniels, Shanahan) who were viewed as the leading contenders for jobs two weeks ago. However, even as the 49ers potentially are willing to make significant changes, Peter King had this to say.
After employing three coaches in the past 25 months, the only way the Niners will get a top candidate now is to start with a very long contract—five or six years—and the power to overhaul the culture. When this process started, I thought there wasn’t a team that could provide the 40-year-old McDaniels the strong opportunity to succeed in his second chance, and though I believe the 49ers understand how far they have to stretch to get a coach of this caliber, I’ll stick with my December opinion: My gut feeling is that this job, like the others this year, isn’t solid in enough areas to be close to a sure thing. So I think it’s most likely that McDaniels stays attached to Tom Brady another year, and the job goes to Shanahan (likely) or Cable (less likely).
The 49ers cannot speak with McDaniels or Shanahan this week, although I imagine communication of some sort might happen here or there. And as the PFT showed, we know there could be contact between the candidates and potential assistants.
With communication technically shut down for the time being due to the various NFL rules, things could go dark for a bit on those two fronts. That of course leaves Tom Cable, which is really the nightmare scenario at the moment. This roller coaster would appear to be far from over.