49ers deny permission for Donatell to talk with Bucs

February 11, 2012, 4:14 pm
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The day after the 49ers' season concluded, coach Jim Harbaugh said he planned to keep the 49ers' coaching staff intact. True to Harbaugh's words, the 49ers have taken at least one step to guarantee it.The 49ers denied defensive backs coach Ed Donatell the opportunity to interview for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defensive coordinator job, the NFL Network reported Saturday.NFL clubs have the right to deny permission for any assistant coach under contract to interview for any other NFL job other than a head-coaching position.
Donatell, 55, has coached 21 NFL seasons, including defensive coordinator stints with the Atlanta Falcons (2004-06) and Green Bay Packers (2000-03).Under Donatell, the 49ers ranked fifth-best in the NFL last season with an opponent passer rating of 73.6. The 49ers' 23 interceptions tied for second in the league. Cornerback Carlos Rogers and safety Dashon Goldson both recorded six interceptions to set career-highs en route to being named to the NFC Pro Bowl team.Offensive assistant Bobby Engram is the only coach to leave the 49ers' staff. He left his entry-level position with the 49ers to become Pitt's wide receivers coach.The 49ers have reportedly hired Tracy Smith as an assistant under special-teams coordinator Brad Seely. Smith was Seely's assistant with the Browns in 2010. Last season, Smith was an assistant with Seattle, where his dad, Carl Smith, is the Seahawks quarterbacks coach.In other news, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the St. Louis Rams have narrowed their choice for general manager to Minnesotadirector of player personnel George Paton and Atlanta director ofplayer personnel Les Snead. Tom Gamble, the 49ers' director of player personnel, has been eliminated from consideration, the paper reported.

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