The San Francisco 49ers continue to deny interview opportunities for assistant coaches. The latest is wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur. The team told the Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns, and Minnesota Vikings they could not interview LaFleur, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Packers hired LaFleur’s brother, Matt, to be head coach.
This news follows word earlier this week that the 49ers shot down the Broncos request to interview quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello, and multiple requests for run game coordinator Mike McDaniel. Matt Maiocco tweeted that position coaches generally are on “rolling two-year deals.” All three of those assistants joined the 49ers in 2017 when Kyle Shanahan was hired.
I imagine most coaches at some point want an opportunity to advance. At the same time, if Jimmy Garoppolo and Jerick McKinnon are healthy in 2019, the stock for all three of these assistants could continue to rise. The offense ideally takes a sizable step forward in 2019, and even if not all these assistants are directly responsible, the proverbial rising tide lifts all boats.
It is also worth noting that sometimes a team will cover for an assistant, saying they are declining an interview when in reality the assistant does not want the job and does not want to decline it himself. Not every promotion opportunity is a good one, and so this can let a coach not look like he’s turning his nose up at a job. We’ll likely never know for sure how much that is the case for the 49ers assistants.