Plot thickening with Gase and 49ers

Things are heating up in the 49ers' courtship of Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Potentially game-changing factors are coming into play in the San Francisco 49ers' pursuit of Adam Gase to become the team's next head coach.

Gase, the Denver Broncos offensive coordinator of the last two seasons, is following up an eight-hour meeting with 49ers GM Trent Baalke Tuesday by reportedly sitting down with Broncos' executive vice president John Elway Wednesday to discuss the team's head coaching vacancy. Elway and former head coach John Fox officially parted ways this week after a disappointing home playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts over the weekend.

Denver appears to be San Francisco's largest obstacle in hiring Gase, if he is their top choice to replace Jim Harbaugh. The 49ers have already complied with the Rooney Rule and can hire Gase immediately. The Broncos have not, and are planning to interview Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin this week. The New York Jets hired former Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, taking a minority candidate off the market.

If Gase stays in Denver, where he has been on staff for the last six seasons, San Francisco will likely continue their courtship of Seahawks defensive coordinator Dann Quinn, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and/or former Washington and Denver head coach Mike Shanahan. Internal candidates Jim Tomsula and Vic Fangio will also continue to be considered.

Gase is the only candidate the 49ers have interviewed twice, while Quinn and McDaniels have been unavailable with their teams are still alive in the playoffs. San Francisco is unable to hire assistants from other teams until their respective seasons are over, which could mean they won't have a coach in place until after the Super Bowl in February.

It was reported by NFL Network's Mike Silver Monday night Fangio might be unwilling to stay with the 49ers if he, or Shanahan, is not made head coach. That means San Francisco might have to find a new defensive coordinator after Fangio put together one of the league's premier units in each season of his four-year tenure.

Fangio is close with a number of his defensive players, who have already spoken out and endorsed his return to the team in 2015, for which he is under contract. And if removing Harbaugh was an unpopular move in the locker room, the front office might not have the equity with the players to move away from the architect of the defense that played the biggest role in deep runs into the postseason from 2011 to 2013.

The team's defense was not the problem in 2014, giving credence to the idea of hiring an offensive mind to become the team's next head coach. But if that new coach leads to Fangio's displacement, the 49ers will have to make sure to hire a defensive coordinator that can maintain that side of the ball while the offense undergoes a renovation. Fangio, 56, is 20 years Gace's senior. And it is believed Fangio would prefer to stay on if the team hires an experienced head coach.

If Fangio opts out, the Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator job would likely be his most appealing destination. Fangio worked with Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians in the past, who endorsed Fangio as a head coaching candidate leading up to their game last month.

At 11:43 this morning, there was this:

Next story:

Does Fangio want out if not made head coach?

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Does Fangio want out if not made head coach?
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Potentially game-changing factors are coming into play in the San Francisco 49ers' pursuit of Adam Gase to become the team's next head coach.

Gase, the Denver Broncos offensive coordinator of the last two seasons, is following up an eight-hour meeting with 49ers GM Trent Baalke Tuesday by reportedly sitting down with Broncos' executive vice president John Elway Wednesday to discuss the team's head coaching vacancy. Elway and former head coach John Fox officially parted ways this week after a disappointing home playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts over the weekend.

Denver appears to be San Francisco's largest obstacle in hiring Gase, if he is their top choice to replace Jim Harbaugh. The 49ers have already complied with the Rooney Rule and can hire Gase immediately. The Broncos have not, and are planning to interview Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin this week. The New York Jets hired former Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, taking a minority candidate off the market.

If Gase stays in Denver, where he has been on staff for the last six seasons, San Francisco will likely continue their courtship of Seahawks defensive coordinator Dann Quinn, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and/or former Washington and Denver head coach Mike Shanahan. Internal candidates Jim Tomsula and Vic Fangio will also continue to be considered.

Gase is the only candidate the 49ers have interviewed twice, while Quinn and McDaniels have been unavailable with their teams are still alive in the playoffs. San Francisco is unable to hire assistants from other teams until their respective seasons are over, which could mean they won't have a coach in place until after the Super Bowl in February.

It was reported by NFL Network's Mike Silver Monday night Fangio might be unwilling to stay with the 49ers if he, or Shanahan, is not made head coach. That means San Francisco might have to find a new defensive coordinator after Fangio put together one of the league's premier units in each season of his four-year tenure.

Fangio is close with a number of his defensive players, who have already spoken out and endorsed his return to the team in 2015, for which he is under contract. And if removing Harbaugh was an unpopular move in the locker room, the front office might not have the equity with the players to move away from the architect of the defense that played the biggest role in deep runs into the postseason from 2011 to 2013.

The team's defense was not the problem in 2014, giving credence to the idea of hiring an offensive mind to become the team's next head coach. But if that new coach leads to Fangio's displacement, the 49ers will have to make sure to hire a defensive coordinator that can maintain that side of the ball while the offense undergoes a renovation. Fangio, 56, is 20 years Gace's senior. And it is believed Fangio would prefer to stay on if the team hires an experienced head coach.

If Fangio opts out, the Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator job would likely be his most appealing destination. Fangio worked with Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians in the past, who endorsed Fangio as a head coaching candidate leading up to their game last month.

At 11:43 this morning, there was this:

Coaching sources and others around NFL continue to tell me they expect the next 49ers head coach to be Adam Gase or Jim Tomsula.

— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) January 14, 2015

see what 49ers fans are saying here

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