The 49ers are on Day 4 of their coach-general manager tour as they sort through a lengthy list of candidates for both jobs.
Before we get to answering questions posted on Facebook for 49ers Mailbag, here is where the search stands:
Wednesday, Jan. 4
Buffalo interim head coach Anthony Lynn (coach)
Thursday, Jan. 5
Green Bay director of football operations Eliot Wolf (GM)
Green Bay director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst (GM)
Friday, Jan. 6
Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton (GM)
Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan (coach)
Saturday, Jan. 7
New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (coach)
Sunday, Jan. 8
Indianapolis vice president of football operations Jimmy Raye III (GM)
Monday, Jan. 9
Washington offensive coordinator Sean McVay (coach)
Carolina assistant general manager Brandon Beane (GM)
Tuesday, Jan. 10
Carolina defensive coordinator Sean McDermott (coach)
ESPN analyst Louis Riddick (GM)
Sunday, Jan. 15
Seattle offensive line/assistant head coach Tom Cable (coach)
Monday, Jan. 16
Seattle co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer (GM)
Seattle co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner (GM)
Miami defensive coordinator Vance Joseph (coach)
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Q: How are the Niners going to determine a good GM/HC pairing if they are hiring them at the same time? Shouldn't they hire a GM first? (Dustin Heron)
A: That’s exactly how they plan to determine a good coach-GM pairing, by hiring them together.
Here’s what Jed York had to say during his press conference on Monday:
”We need to be open and flexible to structure. We need to make sure that the head coach and the general manager know each other, have a good understanding for each other. Doesn’t mean that they had to have worked together in the past, but they have to have a good respect for each other and a good understanding and know that they have similar visions and philosophies on building a football team.”
Remember all that talk that York might be demoted or stripped of power? Well, the opposite appears to be true. Although he was involved in the previous coaching searches, York ultimately left the decisions to GM Trent Baalke.
This time, York wants to sign off on both hires and determine for himself if he believes the coach and general manager will be able to work together and pull in the same direction.
Q: Which would McDaniels prefer? Caserio or Riddick? (Isaac Lopez)
A: The 49ers’ job is certainly more intriguing to Josh McDaniels now than it’s ever been because he would have a major voice (the voice?) in the hiring of the team’s general manager.
He declined to interview with the 49ers in 2011, shortly after the Denver Broncos fired him as head coach after less than two seasons. Two years ago, McDaniels interviewed with the 49ers, but he was not sold on the job – most likely because he had continued questions about the structure with Baalke as general manager.
What makes this a good situation for McDaniels now is that he will be coming into a situation where he and a general manager of his choosing (or at least a GM with whom he feels comfortable) will have carte blanche to build the roster and do everything they deem necessary to turn the franchise around.
The 49ers are expected to have $80 million in cap room and 10 draft picks, including the No. 2 pick in each round.
It looks as if Nick Caserio is opting to remain as New England’s top personnel guy under coach Bill Belichick. ESPN analyst Louis Riddick has made it known what he thinks of McDaniels, and it’s safe to assume they know each other. Riddick has to be considered a strong candidate for a position he's already stated he would accept.
Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton is highly respected within NFL circles and could remain in the picture regardless of which way it goes at head coach. And although Green Bay executive Eliot Wolf does not know McDaniels, those who know both of them believe they would fit well together.
Q: Will all Chip Kelly and Trent Baalke guys be let go? Will new HC/GM determine new DC? (Alex Tran)
A: The head coach and general manager will be completely free to choose their staffs. On Monday, York said he spoke to the coaching staff and those in football operations.
“I let them know that the new general manager and the new head coach are going to make the final decisions on who’s here and who’s not. Those folks are all under contract. They are going to have the ability to go somewhere else and there are no tampering charges. They are free to talk to anybody else.”
So, yes, the takeaway is that Jed York and Paraag Marathe are conducting these interviews. According to York, he will make the hires and then step out of the way and give the coach and general manager all the support they feel they need to build the roster to their specifications.