The San Francisco 49ers are set to interview New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels on Saturday, and there has already been a lot of hubbub about McDaniels and the 49ers job. On Wednesday, Albert Breer suggested the 49ers job might interest McDaniels the most because of the clean slate it could provide. On Friday, Patriots writer Ben Volin reported the most attractive job for McDaniels might be the 49ers, “IF York can commit to a full rebuild.” And then Friday afternoon, Eric Branch reported the 49ers are McDaniels’ preferred choice if he leaves the Patriots.
All of this is well and good (well, assuming you think McDaniels can be a successful head coach on his second go-around), but this raises one potentially interesting point about Saturday’s interview. Given the 49ers past three seasons, this could very well be a chance for McDaniels to interview Jed York as much as York is interviewing him.
That is not actually a shocking revelation, because I think with most any open NFL job, it is a reciprocal interview to some extent. If an NFL team has fired their head coach, more often than not things have gone bad. I don’t think it means they are in the kind of turmoil that has enveloped Santa Clara recently, but rarely does a coach get fired when things are going well.
McDaniels is 40 years old, so age is not an issue in terms of getting back into head coaching. Additionally, if he wants to wait for more openings in a year or two, staying with the Patriots is unlikely to change his stock much. There is no reason at present to think the Patriots are falling apart. Even if it is more because of Tom Brady or Bill Belichick, McDaniels will likely still get plenty of credit along the way.
As much as the 49ers want to see what McDaniels has to say, if Jed York wants to hire him as the next head coach, York will also have to present himself and the organization quite well in this interview. The 49ers have a great history, but given the past three years, that won’t cut it in selling McDaniels on the job. But, if York can sell McDaniels that he will give him and a personnel guy what they actually need to get this one, maybe the 49ers will have their next head coach.