The San Francisco 49ers will conduct a pair of interviews on Friday, as they are scheduled to meet with Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, and Minnesota Vikings assistant general manager George Paton. Shanahan is viewed as a favorite for the Denver Broncos head coaching job, while Paton joins the rest of the executives interviewing for only the 49ers job.
Paton is an intriguing one because of how he has handled interview requests in the past. He has received numerous requests, but he has chosen to turn them down on a very regular basis. There are some media folks stating Paton has turned down as many as six interview requests over the past two years.
That makes this an intriguing situation. Paton might be reaching a point where he wants to step out on his own, in which case the 49ers benefit from being the only opening this year. But it also could reflect well on the viability of the job for candidates. It is similar to Nick Caserio potentially interviewing on Saturday given the fact that he too does not do a lot of interviews.
The 49ers seem like a dumpster fire, and the past three years have been a mess. However, as multiple reporters have suggested, there is an appeal to effectively a clean slate. I don’t think it is fully clean with Jed York and Paraag Marathe in charge of the hiring process, but if you are an outside GM and/or head coach, you could see this job as a chance to make a name for yourself. Turning around a franchise that has dragged along rock bottom lately but has a strong history is something that will appeal to most people’s ego.
None of this is any guarantee that Paton (or Caserio) will be a success running another team’s front office. But in terms of perception, it is one positive.