The 49ers remain the favorites to land Adam Gase, but the Broncos won’t let him go without a fight.
A day after Gase and 49ers general manager Trent Baalke had an hours-long meeting in Denver, the Denver Post is reporting that Gase and Broncos general manager John Elway met at the Broncos team facility this morning.
Baalke flew back to the Bay Area Tuesday night; he is scheduled to speak with Gase by phone today.
Gase has been in Denver since 2009 and has been instrumental in developing young quarterbacks like Brock Osweiler and with working with a prominent older one, Peyton Manning. Manning is expected to take a month or so before deciding if he wants to play in 2015.
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Because the 49ers have complied with the Rooney Rule, they can hire Gase, 36, immediately. The Broncos have yet to interview a minority candidate but have a meeting set up with Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. If Gase turns down the 49ers, it’s likely that he got a strong commitment from Elway that he will be Denver’s next head coach.
If that were to occur, the 49ers feel good about other remaining candidates. According to a league source, the team was very impressed with Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who has plenty of ties to the 49ers and who could bring in former Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver -- who once worked with Quinn with the 49ers -- to help run the defense. The 49ers first interviewed Quinn Dec. 30.
Quinn, however, may not be available until after the Super Bowl. The Falcons also are believed to have strong interest in Quinn.
Mike Shanahan remains available, and the 49ers believe they have two, strong internal candidates in defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. Hiring Quinn almost certainly would lead to Fangio’s exit. Fangio would be more willing to work with an offensive-minded head coach such as Shanahan.
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.