Is Carroll interested?

USC coach Pete Carroll - a former 49ers defensive coordinator who has close ties to the San Francisco Bay Area - was mentioned during team owner John York's news conference Wednesday as a candidate to become the Niners' next head coach. This is what Carroll had to say Wednesday when asked about returning to the NFL.

After a news conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. - where Carroll still was basking in the glory of a 55-19 win over Oklahoma that gave the Trojans their second consecutive national championship - Carroll was asked directly about a possible return to the NFL.

"If somebody is going to call you, they're going to call you," Carroll responded. "If they want to come after you, they'll come after you. If people are calling about jobs, you have to feel good about the fact that they are considering you. That's always nice. But I'm not interested."

Later, after the news conference, Carroll said to a smaller group of reporters: "I can't imagine a formula where someone could get me nterested. At 'SC, I have so much control and call every shot and that's such a difference to me."

The 49ers might give Carroll that control. And he can expect a call from them shortly, if he hasn't talked with them already by now.

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