The first candidate to get a second interview request from the 49ers reportedly will be Adam Gase, whose Broncos squad was knocked out of the playoffs Sunday. The Broncos on Monday parted way with their head coach, John Fox, and encouraged his assistants to seek work elsewhere.
According to the NFL Network, the 49ers are trying to meet with Gase, who has run the Broncos offense the last two years, tonight or Tuesday. They first met with Gase in Denver on Jan. 2.
Gase, 36, is the youngest and least experienced candidate the 49ers are known to have interviewed. However, he's received strong backings from Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and other Denver offensive players in the past two years. The Bears are also interested in Gase, and the Broncos will at least consider him for their opening as well, a league source said.
Manning and the Broncos' high-powered offense made it to the Super Bowl last year, but they were throttled by the same Seattle defense Gase would have to face twice a year if the 49ers hired him. The Broncos also lost 26-20 in overtime in Seattle this past season. The Broncos combined for 63 rushing yards in both games and turned the ball over six times (three interceptions, three fumbles).
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The Broncos' offense also was outplayed in Sunday's divisional playoff loss to the Colts. Indianapolis' defensive backs played tight, press coverage on Denver's receivers, and Manning was unable to beat the Colts secondary deep. The Broncos finished with 288 yards on offense.
Gase was an assistant to Mike Martz when Martz ran the 49ers' offense in 2008. Several other Denver assistants also have backgrounds in San Francisco, including Denver’s quarterbacks coach, Greg Knapp, its special teams coordinator, Jeff Rodgers, and offensive assistant Chris Beake.
The 49ers have interviewed seven other candidates. One of them, Rex Ryan, was hired by the Bills. Two others, Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, are still in the playoffs.
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.