49ers moving ahead with coach interviews

The 49ers are looking to interview coaching candidates despite not having a GM in place. What's up? It could be they're clearing the way for hiring Jim Harbaugh.

Things are moving so quickly in the San Francisco 49ers' search for a general manager and head coach that team president Jed York apparently can't keep his priorities in order.

How else to explain reports that the Niners have asked for permission to interview Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Hue Jackson (per Adam Schefter of ESPN) and New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell (Newark Star-Ledger)?

It's highly probable the 49ers are in such haste to make a move on Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh that they've decided to satisfy Rooney Rule requirements right now and speak to Jackson and Fewell, who are African-American.

York has said previously that the new GM would hire the team's coach, so it doesn't make much sense why he would want to proceed with coaching interviews – unless he intends to make the GM hire in the next day or two and then lock up Harbaugh soon after.

Trent Baalke, the 49ers vice president of player personnel, has essentially been doing the job of a GM. Last week, Scout.com reported that York would hire Baalke, so it's even possible that Baalke has spoken with Harbaugh about the job. And former Raiders personnel executive Michael Lombardi isn't out of the picture.

John Elway, a former Stanford star and now a Denver Broncos executive, was on the sideline Tuesday night to watch the Cardinal's 40-12 victory over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl. Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network reported that the Miami Dolphins may go after Harbaugh.

One non-player appears to be the University of Michigan, which has not yet fired coach Rich Rodriguez. There are reports that Harbaugh doesn't intend to leave one college job for another and that his next likely move – if there is one – is to the NFL.


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