49ers block offensive assistants from interviewing with other teams

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens, left, warms up in front of assistant coach Rich Scangarello before an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. (AP Photo/John Hefti)

The 49ers will not lose a key member of their coaching staff next week.

On Friday, the team denied the Denver Broncos’ request to interview 49ers quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello, according to ESPN. The Broncos wanted to interview Scangarello for their vacant offensive coordinator position. But the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement allows teams to bar assistant coaches from interviewing for other team’s assistant coaching jobs.

ESPN initially reported the Broncos would hire Gary Kubiak to be their offensive coordinator, and pair him with head coach Vic Fangio, whom the Broncos hired on Jan. 9. But Kubiak reportedly backed out when the Broncos instructed him to hire young position coaches he didn’t know well.

Scangarello, 46, has been the 49ers quarterbacks coach since 2017 — he came to the 49ers with head coach Kyle Shanahan. That year, Scangarello identified quarterback Nick Mullens as a talent when Mullens left Southern Mississippi, urged the 49ers to sign him as an undrafted free agent and refined Mullens’ skill set the past two years.

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This article has 70 Comments

  1. KS is blocking coaches from getting a promotion? How churlish. I do not think Bill Walsh ever blocked a coach from a career advancement. He encouraged upward mobility, because he was held back for so many years.
    Maybe the Niners should trade both Scangarello and Mullens to the Broncos. The Niners should ask for a second and third round pick, and a conditional 2020 third round pick, for a package deal.
    I could understand the Niners reluctance to allow coach to go to a division rival, but I hope Mike Daniels gets an opportunity to interview for other teams.

    1. How do you know that the coaches want to leave? They might want to stay without having to say no to a team that they might work for in the future. Scangarello refusing to interview with Denver could be seen as churlish.

      1. The fact that they got an interview is a feather in their cap, and may help them in the long run, with other interviews.
        OC position on another team is going to be a promotion, and will not be in a tax heavy state like California, so financially, it might be advantageous.
        Sure, the coach could turn down the interview like Josh McDaniels, but the Niners blocked it. Most young coaches would jump at the chance to advance their career, especially moving on from a 4-12 team.

          1. Bobby Turner is 69, been a 2 time SB champion, and has been coaching for 46 years.He has been an OC, and an assistant HC. He is not a young coach.

            1. Turner has worked for a Shanahan since 95 except for the one year when Mike was in between jobs. He was 46 when he hooked up with Big Shanny. I assume he had chances to advance his career after churning out 1000 YD HBs and winning two rings.

              We don’t know what Scangarello wants to do. He gets to work with Garoppolo and Mullens. The Broncos have Case Keenum. A first time OC hitching his wagon to Keenum has a good chance of being a one-time OC.

              1. Who knows? Even with JG, the Niners have a losing record. The Broncos won the SB in 2015, so they do have talent. Broncos are surely moving on from Keenum. Fangio coached against Keenum twice while he was in Minnesota, and did not give effusive praise. Maybe the Broncos want Scangarello to attract Mullens. Maybe with Mullens as their QB, the Broncos could vie for another SB, and that could propel Scangarello into a HC position. Several OCs have recently become HCs. KS is an example. Not too many QB coaches have become HCs.

              2. “Even with JG, the Niners have a losing record.”


                “Broncos are surely moving on from Keenum.”

                So it’s Keenum or a yet to be determined QB, not a great situation for a first time OC.

                “Maybe the Broncos want Scangarello to attract Mullens. Maybe with Mullens as their QB, the Broncos could vie for another SB, and that could propel Scangarello into a HC position.”

                Maybe Scangarello knows that we’re keeping Mullens. Maybe you don’t know if Kyle is being churlish.


              3. Niners are 10-22 these past 2 seasons. JG is still part of the team, even while injured.
                Niners got JG for a second round pick. Getting a second round pick for Mullens may be too good a deal to pass up. Getting second and third round picks for Mullens and Scangarello may be even sweeter. Those picks sure would help in the rebuild.
                Keenum is pedestrian, and not in their future plans. I will not assume they will get an inferior QB. Heck, they might get Kyler Murray, and all bets are off.
                KS is within his rights to prevent RS from interviewing, but that does not make it right to prevent a young coach from advancing his career. That in itself might breed some resentment.

              4. 80, that is dated, because Fangio was not named as the Bronco HC.
                Now, Kubiak is no longer the Bronco OC candidate, he should be allowed to go elsewhere.

              5. No way he didn’t want to interview and get a promotion, advance, add to his resume including more experience and a BIG pay raise. How dare KS not allow 3 coaches to interview and be stuck on a bad team.

              6. https://www.sacbee.com/sports/nfl/san-francisco-49ers/article156739294.html

                “Rich Scangarello is familiar with this route. The 49ers’ new quarterbacks coach was in a cozy spot in 2014 as the offensive coordinator at Northern Arizona University. He had a six-figure salary, plenty of autonomy”

                “The following year, he left that lifestyle to take an entry-level position with the Atlanta Falcons, one that slashed his salary by 70 percent and had him living in another coach’s spare bedroom. It was the type of job that usually goes to a 20-something fresh out of college.”

                “But to fully understand the offense, Scangarello, 44, realized he would have to work under Shanahan. So when a lowly offensive line position – an internship, really – became available in Atlanta, Scangarello jumped at the opportunity despite the minimum-wage salary and maximum-hours commitment.”

                “I was willing to do the work and I really just wanted to be around coach Shanahan.”

              7. Keenum was fine in Minnesota. They beat alot of good teams with him. Minnesota was a way better team with him at AN. More first year pro bowlers. They played as a team. This year they sucked. A below average team. Case Keenum made them a playoff team by extending the plays and delivery the ball.

      2. Rich Scangarello is going to willingly turn down more money and a chance to advance his career? not a chance.

        Shame on you Kyle Shanahan

    2. You are a Moran , did you read the statement on the collecting Barganing. You must not be faithful of SF, only wonder DB hmm, is it why you mention blocking a promotion, it’s the same position OC get real get you comments to get her , faithful (78)

    3. Seb, there is far more going on behind the scenes than you are aware of, so I don’t know why you feel the need to weigh in on things you know very little about.

      This whole thing about the 49ers blocking their assistant coaches from taking positions on other teams, while under contract, has been the way things are done for years. The NFL knows it’s better for the league not to have assistant coaches jumping ship, moving back and forth from one team to the next, at the drop off the hat, while still under contract, unless it’s for Head Coach or GM, etc. These guys know very well what the rules are when they sign on.

      As for LaFleur, he left after 2017, McVay’s first season as Rams HC. McVay never replaced him with another assistant “titled” OC because he realized it’s really rather silly to call someone an OC when in fact McVay is in charge of game planning and calling plays on game day. He now has an assistant in charge of the run game, and one involved in the passing game. 2 guys who help in game planning, etc, just as Kyle does. You see, just like with Kyle, Sean’s strength is in both game planning and play calling. In a lot of ways, it’s what they were hired to do. Why would you want either guy to hand those duties to someone else? And if you aren’t suggesting that, why do you feel the need to have someone on staff simply with the “title” of OC?

      As Grant points out in this article, Kyle has assistant coaches whom he works very closely with. While both of these two guys Grant mentions are both closely involved in running the offense, it’s really Mike McDaniel who is Kyle’s “right hand man”, just as McVay has his “right hand man”. McDaniel is in fact deeply involved in the game planning aspect, and probably would have the title of OC, if he were calling plays on game day, and this is a point of which I believe you are either confused or ill-informed, because you no idea what goes on in the facility behind closed doors on a daily basis.

      Maybe you can clarify exactly what your point is? Are you under the impression that Kyle has nobody he leans on to assist him with game planning and stuff, because he absolutely does. Do you simply want someone in the building with the title of OC? Or, do you want him to give up the 2 things he does best, game planning and play calling?

      1. 49, I think KS likes calling plays so much, he may be a victim of the Peter Principle. He has been elevated to his level of incompetence. KS is a great OC. He is failing as a HC.
        Sure, I fully admit I do not have access to the inner sanctum, just like you, and so many others who post on this blog. I am just expressing my opinion, and now have been proven right because now, they are letting Scangarello interview with the Broncos. KS realized that he was looking churlish, and was essentially dissing his coaches by not letting them advance in their careers. By allowing Scangarello to interview, KS is looking magnanimous, and is being a good leader. He should have done that in the first place.
        You may question my football acumen, but I will just point out your championing of Connor Cook. In his only game he ever started, he threw 3 picks. Yet you wrote voluminous tomes about him, declaring he would take the league by storm, and be a shining star. Too bad he flamed out spectacularly.
        Yes, I was correct. The Rams did hire an OC. Matt LaFleur. McVay allowed him leave to advance his career, then hired Jedd Fisch to replace him. McVay is smart, and accepts all the help he can get. KS is not only taking his coaches for granted, he is holding them back. Sure am glad KS changed his mind, and is allowing Scangarello to interview, but it was looking petty to see him block 3 guys. There was no guarantee that they would get the job, but it would look good on their resume. Bill Walsh NEVER blocked an interview for advancement.
        Grant just eviscerated KS on his periscope. Called him petty and just threw his coaches under the bus. Scape goated his trainers by blaming them for all the injuries, yet Saleh wants the players to play with violence. Burned bridges, and it will come back to haunt him. Scangarello may never get another interview in his life, and KS may have just taken money out of his pocket. He wonders if Matt LaFleur is happy with KS. Mike LaFleur is probably too young and inexperienced, but it would have been a kindness to allow his brother to conduct an interview, just to let Mike see how the process works.
        Grant may have ripped KS, but if he deserves censure, Grant is just doing his job. KS will never improve if writers (and posters) just kiss his rear end. KS should realize that there are consequences to his actions, and should think things through. Allowing his coaches to interview is the smart and noble thing to do. Blocking them will just foment bad blood.

        1. “Scape goated his trainers by blaming them for all the injuries”

          Didn’t Kyle say the injuries were part of football and random, or something like that? Maybe Kyle wasn’t happy with the conditioning? The team didn’t finish games well. The players didn’t like the hill either.

          “KS will never improve if writers (and posters) just kiss his rear end.

          Not really though.

          1. “KS will never improve if writers (and posters) just kiss his rear end.

            This is one of the most stupid statements I have read this week.

            1. Oh, yes, KS is perfect and he is not to blame for anything. Head Coaches are above reproach and nobody should ever say anything negative. It might hurt his feelings.
              There ya go. This is more stupid.

              1. Never once said that Seb, but if you think Shanahan will feel the the heat from posters who can easily be swayed by a win or two and writers who are generally trying to garner attention, then you are thinking like a fool. Shanahan will feel the heat only if players stop buying into his message and the wins continue to elude them in the third season.

              2. Luckily, the interest in his coaches may force KS’s hand, He may need to promote one to OC so he can keep him.

            2. #80 and Mid,

              You guys still trying to have rational conversations with our VI? We can try, but as Scooter said, “There are no words!”

              1. Yes, there are no words for you, so you just parrot.
                Originality is the soul of wit. Too bad you have neither.

        2. And BTW Seb, Grant is certainly entitled to his opinion, but he is in a small minority, so who gives 2 sh_ts really?

          Kyle is highly respected around the NFL, has the support of 49ers ownership, and I expect he will find success as the 49ers Head Coach.

          And frankly, that’s what I care about, not Grant Cohn’s minority opinion.

          1. 49, Frankly, I do not know why you are here, if you dislike Grant so much.
            With this 4-12 team, Grant is honest and refreshing.

            1. Grant was spot on in his periscope piece. I totally agree, Grant is honest and refreshing. Not just a homer and blind fan that thinks everything is just fine losing bad all the time with a coach that makes bad moves. I just hope they turn this team around 180 next year or in that direction with JG. And if they win and KS drafts well and makes good moves, Grant will for sure credit him without a doubt!!

      2. Another name I should mention is the other LaFleur, Mike LaFleur. He’s the 49ers wide receivers/passing game coordinator. He’s been working with Kyle for the last 4 seasons, so he’s perhaps a notch below McDaniel, but a notch or two above Scangarello, in terms of involvement with the playbook, and game planning, etc, although I can’t be 100% certain of exactly how Kyle delegates behind the scenes, just like you can’t be Seb. And FYI, he’s another assistant coach whom the 49ers have denied other teams from interviewing this offseason, and rightly so.

        Here are the basic guidelines: The league puts coaches into two categories – Assistant Coaches, and Head Coaches. Only interview opportunities for Head Coaching jobs are considered true “promotions” and must be allowed for Assistant Coaches who are currently under contract, otherwise they are considered “lateral moves”. I believe executive positions are different entirely.

        The owners have put these rules in place for good reason. Yes, one reason is probably to save money, and that’s the unfortunate side. However, on the flip side – a lot of people have made the case that it’s better for the league in terms of the competitive aspect. Imagine the virtual merry-go-round every offseason with assistant coaches jumping ship at the drop of a hat, and the constant battle of poaching assistant coaches, working to weaken their prospective rivals internally every year could very well lead to a lot of unscrupulous, shady conduct, and this kind of constant coaching carousel probably ends up hurting the final end product on the football field.

        Besides, these rules have been in place for long enough, and teams exercise this rule often enough that everyone realizes what the rules are, and knows exactly what they are signing up for when they are hired, so there is nothing “churlish” about it really!

        1. It’s your opinion that Kyle is failing as a HC, but that’s not the owners opinion, nor is it the general opinion of the majority of 49ers fans, or with the NFL community as a whole. That chapter is yet to be written. Most observant fans and people within NFL circles feel like injuries, and inheriting a very weak roster, have been the main problem through Kyle’s first 2 years, and for that, it’s too soon to say whether Kyle is a success or a failure as a Head Coach. And you can add me to that list.

          When that day comes though Seb, if it ever does, maybe Kyle would be better off going back to what he does best, don’t you think? Maybe he would be better off handing off the things he does best to somebody else, but I doubt it, and I don’t think that was ever the plan to begin with, or will ever be something that appeals to Kyle. Play calling and game planning is simply in his blood. It’s who he is, and it is what he looks forward to when he wakes up in the morning and goes to bed at night. Maybe it will work out, maybe it won’t, but as long as he has enough support from his assistant coaches, I don’t know why it can’t. If he does end up failing, I doubt it’s because he won’t hire someone to call plays on game day and run his offense.

          And you’re simply wrong about Jedd Fisch, he is NOT the Rams’ Offensive Coordinator. That would currently be Sean McVay, who does exactly the same thing Kyle is doing, acting as his own OC, calling each and every offensive play on game days, but he has been more successful this season, probably because his team is not only more talented, but it has also remained relatively healthy as compared to Kyle’s, although losing Cooper Kupp has had a serious impact on Goff and the offense. Imagine if McVay were calling plays today against the Cowboys, without Todd Gurley, Jared Goff, Cooper Kupp, or Robert Woods?

          Don’t take my word for it Seb, look it up.

          Jedd Fisch: Los Angeles Rams (Senior Offensive Assistant) (2018–present)

          Jedd Fisch is an American football coach. He is a Senior Offensive Assistant for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League. Fisch served as the interim head football coach at the University of California, Los Angeles for the final two games of the 2017 season.

          You will not find anyone with the “title” of Rams Offensive Coordinator right now, or during this last season. PERIOD!

          Jedd Fisch is basically Kyle’s Mike McDaniel, and that’s a fact.


          1. That’s right, Sean McVay calling plays today without Goff, and Gurley, and Woods, and Kupp, would really put things into perspective, wouldn’t it?

            Welcome to a part of Kyle’s world, only without the part where he inherited Trent Baalke’s dumpster fire.

          2. Matt La Fleur was the OC in January, but moved to become the Titans OC during the off season. I said Jedd Fisch was hired to replace Matt LaFleur, Not that he became the new OC.
            Rams have Aaron Kromer as the Run Game Coordinator, and Shane Waldron as the Pass Game Coordinator. Jedd Fisch is the SENIOR Offensive Assistant.
            Niners have Mike Daniels as the Run Game Coordinator, and Mike LaFleur as the Pass Game Coordinator, but NO Senior Offensive Assistant.

            1. So I guess I am just a little confused. You just think Kyle needs more help from his assistants, and should perhaps hire another Assistant Coach (even though you admit you have no way of knowing how these two coaches delegate behind the scenes) and not an Offensive Coordinator, as you have previously stated ad-fricken-nauseum …. is that it Seb?

              OK, got it (rolling my eyes). I can’t keep things straight with you dude.

              1. Yes, KS should hire a SENIOR Offensive Assistant, who can help him get the offense more focused and disciplined. Who can stop all of the false starts and self inflicted wounds. Who can help with the clock management, and game management so KS can finish games with a victory, instead of allowing him to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
                To say that KS did not need more help, is to basically say you did not watch the games.
                KS is full of hubris and thinks he should be the HC and OC. Too bad that resulted in a 4-12 season.

  2. Seb, you and Grant like to rip Shanahan for not having an offensive coordinator but Scangarrrello and McDaniel are on his staff and now in demand from other teams. If the Niners have a good year one or both could be in demand by other teams as head coach in the nfl or college. No matter what you believe a team takes a village so no matter what the positions are everyone has a say and Coach Shanahan may know what he is doing after all. Not rue I want to trade either coach. This year is critical for improvement.

    1. Reb, hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, with your friends and family.
      Yes, I have been critical of KS, but I want him to learn from his mistakes, then grow and not repeat them.
      Yes, I ripped him for not allowing RS to interview for a promotion, because Bill Walsh always allowed a coach to move up. He was stymied for so many years, he knew how hard it was, to not be able to advance in his career.
      Thankfully, it looks like KS is allowing Scangarello to interview, now. I want to praise KS for changing his mind, and think he doing the right thing. If it was only for a lateral move, I could see his point, but Scangarello is the QB coach, and the OC position is a big step up.
      Really, it is a compliment to KS, to have such competent coaches. It shows that he is doing something right to have his coaches in such high demand. This could also be an opportunity to allow some minority candidates to advance with the Niners.
      Maybe the best solution to retain Scangarello is to make him the OC of the Niners, yet still allow KS to make the play calls. Then it would only be a lateral move, and not a promotion. However, with Matt LaFleur, Sean McVay allowed him to accept the OC position at the Titans because even though ML would be the OC, at the Titans, he would be allowed to make the play calls. Like KS, McVay kept the play calling duties. Matt LaFleur did so well as Oc, he is now the HC of the Packers, a meteoric rise.
      Now, I just read that KS denied Mike Lafleur permission to interview for the OC position with the Packers. Wonder how all this will pan out. Mike LaFleur would go from the passing game coordinator to OC, so that would be a big promotion, too. I can see why KS would want to retain his talented staff, but he just may be a victim of his own success.

      1. We are putting it back together one step at a time. Thank you for your good thoughts support and go rebuttals and thoughts! Hope your family is well!

  3. Shanahan did Scangarello a favor. Best path forward is Scangarello continues with Shanny and in 2-3 years is named the OC with play calling responsibilities while Shanahan remains the head coach. Then Scangarello can be named a head coach in the NFL. That’s exactly how Shanny. Consistency in the system with the person that knows it best is important for development.

  4. Alarming…

    I don’t believe any HC in NFL history–at least since the merger–has ever blocked assistants from interviewing. Ever. Right Grant?

    1. You get my vote to replace Grant at the Press Democrat. Will your current employer allow you to interview?

    2. Oh well. So much for that. Could work out multiple ways. Scangarello could go. He could force the 49ers to hire him as OC if they really want to keep him. Or he could just be interviewing because interviews are good even if you don’t get the job.

  5. The optics here aren’t the best for the team. Alongside letting go of three staff members, it gives the impression of a highly insular world. I know that maybe the coaches didn’t want to go, or that perhaps the players really wanted them but it looks bad.

    It was one of the criticisms of Shanahan, fostering a highly clickish environment was also an accusation he had while in Washington.

    Guess we will have to see how this plays out.

    What happens if next year the injuries remain high? Ironically, last year they had more people on IR than this year (for those saying this was a season like no other, injury wise). Additionally, I believe Washington also had historically significant injuries during Shanny’s tenure, so maybe his type of player is more prone to break down.

  6. I am wondering if Elway is eyeing Mullens as a replacement for Keenum.
    The Niners should bundle Scangarello and Mullens, and possibly get multiple picks for them. Coaches have been traded for picks before. A second and a third, and a conditional 2020 second round pick, may be feasible.
    Then, in order to retain LaFleur, KS should name him OC and allow him to have some input on the play calling.
    I think it is OK to block Mike Daniels from going to the Cards, because the Cards are a division rival.
    Yes, JH blocked Donatell, but he was also paranoid, and may have had some personal beefs with Payton.

    1. You know, I wouldn’t mind this move except I’m not sure Ab would be a team player here. The star of the show here isn’t even on the field in SF.

    2. Williams is going to be drafted by the Cardinals, and I don’t see the Steelers wanting to acquire a player for AB. A better offer would be this year’s second round pick and next year’s first round pick for Brown.

  7. I think the Broncos will make a play for Mullens if they hire Scangarello. If I’m the Niners, I’m not trading him. First off, I’m not totally convinced that Jimmy G and Coach Sourpuss will work long term. Secondly, I’m also not convinced John Lynch can draft better than 75% of this forum. Lastly, if one QB is going to be traded it’s CJB, because he’s a disaster waiting in the wings.

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