Linehan shuns 49ers

The 49ers had a twist thrown into their search for an offensive coordinator Sunday when Scott Linehan declined the team's offer for the job. Linehan, who had been the team's choice over the three other candidates who have interviewed for the position, did not want to relocate his family from St. Louis, and now the Niners must head in a new direction to locate their new offensive strategist.

A 49ers source close to the situation told SFI on Sunday that the team had anticipated Linehan would accept the Niners' offer.

"But we're confident we'll find the right person for the job," the source said.

Linehan – the first of the four candidates interviewed by the team – had a second interview with the 49ers earlier this week and was offered the job then. He was given time to make a decision and informed the 49ers of his intention Sunday morning.

The 49ers also have interviewed Denver Broncos assistant Rick Dennison, former Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski and Indianapolis Colts receivers coach Clyde Christensen for the position.

Dennison was taken out of the running earlier this week when he accepted a position to remain on the Denver staff under new Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels.

The 49ers, however, aren't exactly back to square one in the search for their seventh offensive coordinator in seven years to replace Mike Martz, who was fired Dec. 29 after one year with the team.

Team sources said the 49ers feel they already have interviewed two strong candidates who remain available and an offer could be forthcoming to one of them. The team conducted no interviews Sunday, and it is uncertain in which direction general manager Scot McCloughan and coach Mike Singletary plan to take the search.

"I believe and have faith in the process we have set forth in our search for an offensive coordinator," Singletary said late Sunday afternoon in a statement released by the team. "While we'd like to fill this position sooner rather than later, we will remain patient in our approach. The right person for the 49ers is out there."

Singletary and McCloughan will be in Mobile, Ala., this coming week to scout players at the Senior Bowl. The event attracts literally hundreds of NFL coaches - those who have jobs and those who are looking for them - so Singletary should have an opportunity to visit with several viable offensive coordinator candidates should he decide the team needs to conduct more interviews for the position.