The San Francisco 49ers interviewed two Seattle Seahawks executives on Monday, wrapping up the reported list of interviews for the vacant general manager and head coach positions. The team interviewed six candidates for head coach and nine for the GM position, and now has to figure out what their next step will be.
On the head coach side, they are down to two candidates. Josh McDaniels removed his name from consideration on Monday, leaving Kyle Shanahan and Tom Cable as the only remaining options that did not get a job elsewhere. On the GM side, all the candidates remain available, but the cut down in head coach candidates likely removes some of them from consideration.
Alex Marvez reported at The Sporting News that a source told him the 49ers are going to, “conduct second interviews later this week with finalists for its vacant general manager’s position.” Marvez also said that the 49ers have informed some of the candidates that they remain in contention for the job.
The 49ers cannot speak with Kyle Shanahan until next week, after the NFC title game. If the Falcons lose, Shanahan is free and clear to do what he wants. If the Falcons win, Shanahan can conduct a second interview with the 49ers, but cannot be formally signed as head coach. Of course, if the two sides decide it can work out, an informal agreement would be reached and the formal announcement would not happen until after the Super Bowl.
It makes sense then that the 49ers would have a focused group of candidates based on their previous conversations with Shanahan (and Cable) and the GM candidates. Someone like ESPN analyst Louis Riddick is probably out of the picture given the frequent connection to Josh McDaniels. On the other hand, Cardinals VP of player personnel Terry McDonough is likely a finalist given his rumored interest in wanting Kyle Shanahan as a head coach.
Where does it go from here? I can see the 49ers following up with the GMs, and then setting up an interview with Shanahan next week that includes those candidates. It’s an odd bit of matchmaker, but it is one way to handle it, I suppose. That would seem to indicate we won’t hear a whole lot on the coach front this week. If we hear about some follow-up interviews with the non-Seahawks candidates, that would also hopefully mean the team is seriously focused on Shanahan, as has been reported.