The 49ers on Friday rolled out of Santa Clara on a two-game, 10-day, nine-night road trip that'll take them to Cincinnati, Youngstown, Ohio, and Philadelphia.Between their back-to-back Eastern time zone games against the Bengals on Sunday and the Eagles on Oct. 2, the 49ers will train and practice in Youngstown -- hometowns of the DeBartolo and York families.When asked what's the reasoning for the extended stay, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said there were several factors."The two back-to-back East Coast games, No. 1, take the air travel out of it, some of the jet lag out of that," he said. "Also, I feel like we have a team that enjoys each other's company. This is a chance for them to be close to each other all week leading up to a big game. Also, families that are in the Midwest and East Coast, let them be around and be a part of it."Last year, the 49ers spent a similar duration on the road between games in Charlotte, N.C., and London. The 49ers left for London immediately after their Week 7 loss to the Carolina Panthers. The 49ers defeated the Denver Broncos, 24-16, in London.Obviously, it's no coincidence Youngstown was chosen as the 49ers' home away from home."Ownership is from there and have good connections," Harbaugh said. "We'll have first-class treatment at the Youngstown State facility."The only major differences are that the 49ers took the eight players on their practice squad and all their video equipment. More crates of equipment and supplies were packed and transported on the team charter.Running back Anthony Dixon, who turned 24 on Saturday, expressed his feelings on Twitter: "Why my birthday gotta be the day before a big game! And why we gotta stay in Youngstown Ohio? Where is that? I never been there! I'm sad!"Said receiver Josh Morgan said, "As long as they feed us and let us play football, I'm good."
New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels announced Monday morning he has pulled his name from consideration for the 49ers’ head-coaching job.
McDaniels interviewed with 49ers executives Jed York and Paraag Marathe on Saturday, Jan. 7, while the Patriots were on the bye week as the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. McDaniels indicated he also met with Brian Hampton, the 49ers’ director of football administration and analytics.
"I was really impressed with Jed York and Paraag and Brian, and people that came for the 49ers organization,” McDaniels said in a conference call with reporters who cover the Patriots.
“They did a great job with their presentation,” McDaniels added. “Again, (I’m) humbled to be included in that process. At this time, it's just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England, and focus on this year's playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out."
McDaniels said his main focus would be on helping prepare the Patriots to face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in the AFC Championship game.
McDaniels, 40, was viewed as one of the hot head-coaching candidates, along with Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, this offseasons. He has served the past five seasons as New England’s offensive coordinator under Bill Belichick.
Shanahan becomes the leading candidate for the 49ers’ job. The 49ers interviewed Seattle offensive line/assistant head coach Tom Cable on Sunday. Shanahan and Cable are the only known remaining candidates for the job to replace Chip Kelly, who was hired after a 2-14 season.
McDaniels became Denver’s head coach in 2009. He was fired after 12 games in 2010 after his teams compiled an 11-17 record. He returned to the Patriots in 2012 and has served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on Bill Belichick’s staff.
McDaniels, who also interviewed with the 49ers last year, also had interviews on Jan. 7 with Jacksonville and the Los Angeles Rams. Jacksonville hired Doug Marrone, while the Rams hired Sean McVay.
“I've always said how grateful I am for this opportunity to work here for Mr. Kraft his family and coach under Bill with a lot of great guys on our staff and have the privilege to work with the players we get to work with each day," McDaniels said. "It's a great opportunity. Very thankful to be here and very much looking forward to this week against Pittsburgh."
The San Francisco 49ers are on the verge of having the least interesting (or appealing) job search in recent NFL history. In fact, they may have already achieved that honor.
While the other 31 teams were either already set and found their guy (or guys) in a fairly timely fashion, Jed York and Paraag Marathe are still interviewing candidates, and if reports are to be believed that their top coaching choice, Josh McDaniels, has decided to pass in hopes of finding a better gig in the next job vacancy cycle, they are now considered within football as they are outside it.
An ongoing disaster.
Since the end of the season, the 49ers have been without a head coach for 15 days, and a general manager for 17. York and Marathe have shown no particular urgency in filling either job, presumably on the theory that they can wait until February 6, the day after the Super Bowl, if need be.
The problem with that plan, of course, is that for 37 days (or 39) it’s rabbit season/duck season/rabbit season/duck season/York season, and when it’s York season, it’s also brand season.
In other words, the 49ers are currently further from New England, Pittsburgh, Green Bay and Atlanta than any other team, and while nothing really matters in mid-January for 28 of the 32 teams, the notion that a potential head coach would be willing to wait out the current cycle in hopes of doing better next time should be sufficiently galling to a fan base already revolted by its team.
This would all be different if there was a reason to be encouraged by York’s hiring history. Even the one he got right (He Whose Name Must Never Be Spoken, Michigan Division) he got wrong because he hired someone he thought he could tame and failed miserably – a clear vetting problem that lays squarely at the feet of the employer.
So no, York has shown no facility for coaching personnel judgment, and since owners hire coaches (and can’t be dismissed, as a great man once said) this delay does not represent wisdom but an increasing chance of failure.
Which brings us to Kyle Shanahan or Tom Cable, two guys who probably can’t be as picky as McDaniels.
Shanahan, the Atlanta offensive coordinator, has helped the Falcons create the most dynamic offense of the decade, but would be coming to a place where he has zero dynamic players, and therefore would be savaged almost immediately for not “coaching ‘em up,” as Chip Kelly was halfway through his first season, and Jim Tomsula was on the day of his first press conference.
Cable, the Seattle assistant head coach and offensive line coach, comes pre-condemned for coaching the Oakland Raiders in the aftermath of the Al Davis-Lane Kiffin tire fire, as well for as clocking assistant coach Randy Hanson (a lawsuit was settled in arbitration) and for allegations of domestic violence that Davis cited when he fired him after 44 games. He would not be given much benefit of the doubt because his history does not comfort, and because these are angry times in 49er World anyway.
So the speculation drags on, mostly on a low simmer, and it only makes York and Marathe look like the masters of a sinking ship. That isn’t a truly fair characterization, since by rule they have to wait on Shanahan, but when it comes to a 2-14 team (which has won one less game in the last two years in the last year of the discredited-in-house coach with no name) run by the son of a man who had his own organizational issues with the very same franchise, fair has nothing to do with it.
But look at the bright side. This could last another three weeks. At least they’ll know they didn’t get their first choice.