Some news bits to digest while unwrapping your Steve Ross voodoo dolls:
• Josh McDaniels, the one-time boy wonder coach of the Broncos, is not interested in trying to resurrect his reputation in San Francisco, according to ESPN’s Mike Sando.
McDaniels, 34, who was fired by the Broncos this season after five wins and one videotaping controversy in his final 20 games, reportedly had misgiving about the Niners’ Big Three: 29-year-old Jed York, two-day GM Trent Baalke and executive vice president Paraag Marathe.
Given McDaniel’s crash-and-burn in Denver, his disinterest could be easily shrugged off.
If nothing else, though, it is a PR hit to a franchise trying to land top head-coaching candidates on the heels of its eighth straight non-playoff season .
• A defensive-minded head coach, anyone? OK, put down the sharp objects – this hypothetical involves Tennessee’s Jeff Fisher, who has a bit more stature than Mike Singletary or Mike Nolan.
This Fisher-to-San Francisco conjecture is nothing more than that, but Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio floated the idea (here, at bottom of article), so why not speculate wildly? Fisher, who is on shaky ground with owner Bud Adams, has one-year remaining on his contract, but will reportedly be retained.
Florio speculates (here) that the Titans could be waiting for teams who don’t land Harbaugh to make a play for Fisher.
The Niners would have to provide compensation for this fantasy scenario to be realized.
• Continuing in fantasy land, the NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora cites sources who speculate the Niners “could have built a dream staff” if they had not hired in-house candidate Trent Baalke as GM.
He says Michael Lombardi as GM could have led to Jim Harbaugh as head coach, McDaniels as offensive coordinator and another ex-head coach as defensive coordinator.
If so, Harbaugh must really be tight with Lombardi. Assuming he signs with the deep-pocketed Dolphins, this suggests Harbaugh would have left millions on the table to be with his buddy in San Francisco.
LaCanfora also reports Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell delayed his interview with the Niners this week because he thought he was being used to satisfy the Rooney Rule.
• If the Niners have an interest in Atlanta offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, it appears they’ll have a chance to interview the former Buffalo Bills coach.
Mularkey, 49, was scheduled to interview with the Broncos on Friday in Atlanta, but he’s postponed his interview, reports the Denver Post. Mularkey will wait to interview for head-coaching jobs until after the Falcons, who have a first-round bye, finish their season.
In other words, an Atlanta run to the Super Bowl could, potentially, mean another month of head-coaching-search fun.