Feeling a lot better about Linehan’s motives right now

Scott Linehan has reportedly agreed to become the Detroit Lions’ offensive coordinator, and my faith in humanity has been restored – at least until I learn something different.

Linehan cited familial concerns as to the reason he did not accept the 49ers’ job offer. But when reports surfaced last night that he might be heading to Oakland for an interview, it left a lot of people – myself included – wondering if he had pulled a Saban-Petrino.


Linehan gave me the impression when I spoke with him Sunday that he planned to keep his family in St. Louis. He has three boys, the oldest of whom will be entering high school next year. That kid has already been in seven different schools. The best possible scenario for Linehan and his family would’ve been for him to accept a job within a two-hour flight of St. Louis. With the Lions, he is getting that.


He can leave his family in St. Louis and take direct flights to and from Detroit that are about 1 hour, 45 minutes in duration. So he can actually come home to visit his family — and they can visit him — on a regular basis. If he had taken a job with the 49ers, he would’ve been looking at flights lasting more than seven hours (including layovers) from St. Louis to San Jose.


Granted, the 49ers were left wondering why Linehan met with club officials twice if he wasn’t sure he wanted to take the job. That is certainly a legitimate complaint. It would have looked really, really bad had Linehan ended up taking a job with the Raiders.


So, another question to ask is: Was Scott Linehan really in play with the Raiders or were they just trying to tweak the 49ers a little?


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And, furthermore, this should also put to rest the notion that what kept Linehan from accepting the 49ers’ job was the QB situation. In the words of new coach Jim Schwartz, the Lions are still trying to find a replacement for Bobby Layne . . . and he last played for the Lions in 1958.


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ROSTER UPDATE (11:10 a.m.): The 49ers announced today the signing of receiver Micheal Spurlock (5-11, 200). He was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2006 by the Cardinals out of Mississippi. He spent the entire 2008 season on the practice squad of the Buccaneers. In 2007, Spurlock saw action in seven games for the Buccaneers, returning 16 kickoffs for 444 yards (27.8 avg.), which included a 90-yard touchdown return, to go along with four punt returns for 30 yards. In his rookie season with the Cardinals, he was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster for the season finale at San Diego. In that game, Spurlock caught four passes for 31 yards and returned five kickoffs for 106 yards.


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