The San Francisco 49ers will meet with Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator later this week, and it will mean a weekend filled with chatter. On Sunday, Adam Schefter and Matt Maiocco both reported that the 49ers would interview Shanahan no earlier than Friday if the Falcons won the NFC title game. Now, NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport is saying the interview will happen on Friday or Saturday.
Rapoport mentions that the general manager candidates will be joining the interview. We know George Paton is one of the candidates, but we still don’t know for sure if Terry McDonough is involved. And Paton’s involvement got a little more complicated as the Indianapolis Colts asked for permission to interview him. They will be interviewing a large contingent of people, but it still raises some potential complicating factors.
USA Today NFL columnist Tom Pelissero had an interesting article about Shanahan on Sunday. Shanahan was dealing with the flu over the weekend, but obviously it did not hurt the Falcons against the Packers. Pelissero spoke with Shanahan after the game and the Falcons OC, and here is a chunk from that discussion.
“I’ve pretty much been on a one-track mind all week,” Shanahan said. “Now that this is over, I’ll have a chance to talk with (the 49ers) a little bit more, and after that week, I’ve got to go back to blocking it out and go to the Super Bowl, which shouldn’t be too hard. It’s the Super Bowl. It’s a lot to juggle, but it’s definitely something that I’m happy I’m a part of.”
The plan, Shanahan said, is to spent much of the coming week game planning “because we know it’ll be a zoo the next week” in Houston. Sometime late in the week, when the Falcons have a couple days off, Shanahan will meet with 49ers officials and at least one general manager candidate: Minnesota Vikings assistant GM George Paton.
Shanahan’s contract, the power structure and other details still need to be finalized, and the 49ers aren’t allowed to hire him until at least Feb. 6. But unless something falls apart in those negotiations, it’s expected to happen. And 49ers brass surely liked what they saw here.
It is going to be a long week for 49ers fans, and really a long two weeks until an announcement can happen. The team could announce their GM once that is finalized, but my guess is they want to announce both of them together. And so, we sit and wait for anything to come out to give us a little bit more confidence about the path this is following.