The San Francisco 49ers are going with an in-house candidate to fill their vacancy at offensive coordinator.
Former quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst will be elevated to replace Greg Roman, as first reported by the NFL Network.
The 49ers coaching staff has seen a drastic overhaul after the organization "mutually" parted ways with Jim Harbaugh after four seasons in which he finished 49-22-1, including three trips to the playoffs. Roman was hired to become the offensive coordinator with the Buffalo Bills under Rex Ryan earlier this month.
With former defensive line coach Jim Tomsula now running the show, Chryst becomes the most important assistant on his staff by default. It was Harbaugh and Roman's offense that regressed last season, finishing 25th in the league in scoring and 30th in passing yards.
Chryst, as quarterbacks coach, might have also played a role in those struggles. He was hired on to be the team's quarterbacks coach in 2011 when Harbaugh made the leap to San Francisco from Stanford.
A positive for Chryst? His promotion gives quarterback Colin Kaepernick more continuity than if the team hired an external candidate.
"As far as Colin’s development goes, it’s always important to keep as much stability as you can, with any player," general manager Trent Baalke said earlier this month. "...Whether it’s the quarterback position or any other position, the more stability you can create for them, the better their odds are of developing."
On the surface, it appears to the 49ers are settling on Chryst after being unable to land a more high-profile candidate. A number names were linked to the 49ers during their search, including Colts assistant and former Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski, who received a raise and the title of associate head coach with Indianapolis.
Chudzinski's contract with the team was renewed over the weekend after the team blocked him from interviewing for coordinator positions elsewhere, including San Francisco and St. Louis.
The 49ers were also linked to Alabama's offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin before the school made Kiffin's return in 2015 official last week.
Eagles wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell was the most recent external candidate to spurn San Francisco in favor of their current team. After reportedly speaking with Tomsula about the opening, Bicknell elected to return to Philadelphia in his lesser role.
Chryst was the San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator in 1999 and 2000 under then-coach Mike Riley. Those units finished 26th and 28th, respectively, in total yardage. In his first year, Chryst worked with a 36-year-old Jim Harbaugh as his quarterback before Ryan Leaf went 1-8 in nine starts during Chryst's second season.