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49ers notes: Top assistants draw interest from other teams

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 - 12:00 am
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 - 8:09 am

In the wake of the 49ers’ third playoff-opening win in three seasons, coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday that teams with coaching vacancies have asked permission to interview San Francisco’s top assistants.

Harbaugh said the 49ers have received calls regarding offensive coordinator Greg Roman, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and defensive-line coach Jim Tomsula. Harbaugh declined to say which teams have expressed interest, though multiple reports Monday had the Washington Redskins interested in Roman and Fangio, with Roman also on the radar of the Minnesota Vikings.

“I imagine there’ll be some interviews taking place in the coming week or weeks,” Harbaugh said. “You know, it’s smart on their part. Those guys are great coaches, all of them. There’s nobody that’s got a better staff, in my humble opinion, than we do here.”

As coaches on a team that played in the wild-card round, 49ers assistants are permitted to interview this week. Roman’s name was mentioned in connection with head-coaching vacancies last year, too, but he had no interviews as the 49ers advanced to the Super Bowl.

The 49ers have had remarkable consistency on their staff since Harbaugh took over for the 2011 season. A rare exception occurred late last month when USC announced that Tim Drevno, the 49ers’ co-offensive line coach, will leave at season’s end to become the Trojans’ offensive-line coach.

Harbaugh said he wasn’t surprised to learn of interest in the 49ers’ staff.

“You wonder sometimes why it’s taken this long,” he said. “People are looking for coaches – if you want the one-year flash, sometimes it seems like people hire that.

“But here, when you look at Greg Roman, Fangio, (special-teams coordinator) Brad Seely, Jim Tomsula and others that we have on our staff, they’re consistently good year after year. That’s special. ... It would be a surprise if somebody is not hired as a head coach.”

Fuller strength – The 49ers were held to a season-low 151 yards, including 46 passing yards, in their 10-9 loss on Nov. 10 to the Carolina Panthers, their opponent in Sunday’s NFC divisional round.

At the time, wide receiver Michael Crabtree still was sidelined because of an Achilles’ injury, and tight end Vernon Davis left the game in the second quarter with a concussion.

Asked about having those two targets for the rematch, Harbaugh said it makes the offense “more dangerous.”

Davis’ touchdown catch against the Packers on Sunday was his team-leading 14th of the season. Crabtree led the 49ers with eight catches for 125 yards in his most prolific performance since returning in Week 13.

“Crabtree) is a highly competitive individual,” Harbaugh said. “It’s important for him to be good. It’s important for him to make plays.”

Motivational speaker – Harbaugh said former WWE wrestler Ric Flair addressing the 49ers before they played the Packers originated from an off-hand comment by defensive tackle Justin Smith during the week. Harbaugh said members of the 49ers’ staff “went to work” reaching out to Flair, who met with the team Saturday night.

“Got the red blood pumping the night before the game,” Harbaugh said, “which was good.”


Call The Bee’s Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015.

Read more articles by Matt Kawahara



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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