The 49ers on Saturday interviewed another candidate for their head-coach opening, Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. The meeting took place in Tampa, Fla., according to a league source.
Koetter, 56, fits the profile of what the 49ers are seeking: an experienced, offensive-minded coach with a track record of working with quarterbacks. Koetter was a quarterback at Idaho State and has worked with then-Jaguars rookie Blaine Gabbert, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and Buccaneers rookie Jameis Winston in the NFL.
The 49ers have three quarterbacks under contract for next season: Gabbert, Colin Kaepernick and Dylan Thompson. Kaepernick’s status for next year, however, is fuzzy, and the 49ers could add a quarterback in the draft, perhaps with the seventh overall pick.
Koetter was the head coach at Boise State and Arizona State, leading the Sun Devils to four bowl appearances in six seasons. He’s from the Northwest – Idaho – and spent the 1985 season as offensive coordinator at San Francisco State, where he coached alongside another young assistant, Andy Reid.
Koetter may be the top choice in Tampa Bay, which fired head coach Lovie Smith earlier in the week. The speculation is that other teams’ interest in Koetter – including that of the Dolphins, who hired Adam Gase on Saturday – prompted Tampa to part ways with Smith.
The 49ers also have interviewed ex-Eagles coach Chip Kelly, Bills running backs coach Anthony Lynn and Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo. San Francisco and Cleveland are scheduled to interview Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson on Sunday in Cincinnati.
Jackson works alongside defensive backs coach Vance Joseph, who was a 49ers assistant coach from 2005 to 2010. The 49ers made a push to sign Joseph last season but were blocked by the Bengals because he was still under contract. That contract expires at the end of this season, making Joseph, 43, a free agent.
The 49ers also interviewed Jackson in 2011, the year they hired Jim Harbaugh. Jackson instead was hired by the Raiders, who finished 8-8 that year. He was fired after the season and replaced by Dennis Allen.
Jackson worked with current 49ers receivers coach Adam Henry in Oakland. Henry served as his tight ends coach.