Heimerdinger, Lewis up next
Both have extensive NFL experience and the winning backgrounds that the Niners covet, though neither has been a NFL head coach. Heimerdinger, 52, has been in charge of Tennessee's offense the past five years, a period during which he transformed the Titans into one of the league's most potent attacks. He has developed his skills under two former 49ers assistant coaches, Mike Fisher and Mike Shanahan. Heimerdinger began his ascension in the NFL ranks during five years under Shanahan in Denver, where Heimerdinger coached the Broncos' wide receivers. Tennessee finished eighth in NFL offense in 2003 and 11th last year despite key injuries to several of its top offensive stars, including quarterback Steve McNair. Lewis, who turned 43 last month, just completed his first season as New York's defensive coordinator, where his unit finished with an NFL ranking of 13th, including eighth against the pass. Lewis was the Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive coordinator the previous four seasons. His units in Pittsburgh never finished below ninth in the league in total defense, including a No. 1 finish in 2001. It has been reported the 49ers also plan to interview Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Nolan this week, though the team has not confirmed those plans. Regardless, it figures to be a busy week on the coaching carousel for the Niners, since several NFL coaches will be in San Francisco this week to scout the East-West Shrine Game practices that started today. The college all-star game will be played Saturday.
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