Because of the Seahawks’ playoff loss on Saturday, Seattle offensive-line coach Tom Cable is the only head-coaching finalist the 49ers could hire right away.
Of course, they need to interview him first.
That will occur Sunday at the Seahawks’ headquarters in Renton, Wash., where Cable, 52, is expected to sit down with 49ers CEO Jed York and his top lieutenant Paraag Marathe. The following day, they will interview Seahawks personnel executives Trent Kirchner and Scott Fitterer, who also can be hired because of Seattle’s playoff exit.
The 49ers are looking for chemistry between their new head coach and general manager, and the Cable-Kirchner duo is particularly intriguing to them.
Cable’s Seahawks fell, 36-20 to the Falcons, who finished with 422 yards of offense against one of the NFL’s top defenses. The man calling the plays for Atlanta, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, also is a finalist for the 49ers’ opening. San Francisco already has interviewed Shanahan, 37, but cannot hire him until the Falcons are out of the playoffs.
The same goes for the third finalist, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, 40, whose team beat the Houston Texans 34-16 later Saturday. If the Falcons and Patriots continue to win, McDaniels and Shanahan can have a second meeting with the 49ers during the bye that will precede Super Bowl week.
Cable, meanwhile, is risky because of the same baggage that dogged him during his three-year stint as Raiders head coach. That includes accusations from an ex-wife and ex-girlfriend that he physically abused them, as well as an alleged fistfight that left a Raiders assistant coach with a broken jaw. His offensive-line unit also struggled this season, including on Saturday when quarterback Russell Wilson was sacked three times and hurried 18 times.
Assistant coaches who have been linked with Cable include ex-Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley, who formerly served as the Seahawks defensive coordinator on the same staff as Cable, and Falcons defensive backs coach Marquand Manuel, a former player and assistant in Seattle who has spent the last two seasons in Atlanta. Bradley already has interviewed with Washington about its opening at defensive coordinator and is expected to interview with the Los Angeles Chargers as well.
The 49ers also could immediately hire general manager candidates Brandon Beane, Terry McDonough, George Paton, Jimmy Raye III and Louis Riddick because they are not with playoff teams. Two others, Green Bay’s Brian Gutekunst and Eliot Wolfcould be available to hire Sunday if the Packers lose their playoff game to the Cowboys.