Mora likes his chances

"I think the fans, the media, the people in this organization and the players on this team will feel tremendous confidence in whoever they choose to be their head football coach knowing they've looked under every rock and around every corner and investigated every candidate as thoroughly as they can. I know whomever is chosen as the head football coach ought to feel that confidence. Some organizations make snap decisions and live to regret it."

Q: How do you like your chances?
Well, I think as long as I'm still in it, I've got a chance. I'm certainly not going to take my hat out of the ring. Until someone throws it out, I'm confident.

Q: It appears that everyone who have been interviewed are defensive oriented. Is that a good or bad sign?
: I don't know if it's a good sign or a bad sign, but it's just the decision that they have made upstairs to go in that direction. I think they obviously feel comfortable with the staff that they have offensively and the direction of this offense. It appears they have focused on defensive coaches. I think that is great. I like to see defensive coaches get a chance. There is kind of an even flow in this league in terms of who gets hired as head coaches. Sometimes there is a flow towards offense and sometimes towards defense. Really, what it needs to be, is a flow towards the best candidate. They have done an excellent job here with the process. It's been lengthy, it's been time consuming, but it's been methodical. If any of you have been with Terry Donahue in the draft room, which you haven't been, you would understand the process. He's a guy that doesn't blink. He sets a course and stays with the course. If you were to judge this process by our draft process, it's going to end up being successful because we've had some great drafts. It's really very similar.

Q: What was the talk since Dr. York already knows your personal background?
Mora: It was the same. We've worked in the same building now for a number of years, but in terms of the intimate personal knowledge we have of each other, it's not always as deep as you might think. We were trying to get to know each other on a different level; more of a personal level rather than a professional level. So, it was kind of fun. We talked about how we met our wives and we talked about our weddings and our children; things that don't normally come up in the course of a game week.You aren't going to go in there on Tuesday when your game plan is for the Rams and talk to Dr. York about how you met your wife. So, we were talking about other things than football. It was really enjoyable.

Q: Do changes need to be made on the offensive side on the ball?
: I don't know if changes need to be made, but I think there is always room for fresh approaches and fresh ideas. I think offensively, what is important is that we are an attacking offense and we identify who are playmakers are and we get them the football. This is an organization that has always been an attack-oriented offense. We've been an organization in the past that has gotten people down and gone for the throat. That is the kind of offense I would like. We would be disciplined, we'd be aggressive, we'd be attacking, and we'd utilize our weapons. There are a lot of great resources within this building that can help us become a better football team and I would plan on utilizing all of them.

Q: Do you feel the team has gotten away from that a little bit in the past few years?
Mora: I wouldn't say we have gotten away from it, but I think sometimes you need to revisit or reemphasize certain aspects of your philosophy. We've got some tremendous weapons offensively here. We all know that. We need to get them the ball. You got to get your playmakers the football and you've got to develop an attitude on your football team that says we are going to attack and we are going to be aggressive in all phases; not just offense, but all phases. We're going to go for the throat when we have people down. That would be my basic philosophy about not only offense, but about football.

Q: Have you talked to any of the leaders of the team about your candidacy?
Mora: I've talked to Terrell, I've talked to Jeff, I've talked to Bryant Young, I've talked to most of the players. I'm here most days and the guys that are around getting rehab or have been in and out working out, I've talked to most of them. I had a nice discussion with Jeff yesterday. I had a nice discussion with Terrell before he went to the Pro Bowl. So, yeah, I've talked to those guys and have expressed to them what my feelings are, in terms of, where we would go as an offense and where we would go as a football team. I don't want to just talk about the offense, but where we would go as a football team. I feel very comfortable talking with those guys.

Q: Do you think being in this building is an advantage for you?
: I don't think it's a disadvantage. Obviously, I know the players, I understand how our organization operates, I know where we've been, I know the pitfalls we've had and I know that we've been able to come back from 4-12 and win our division after five years and I know these players. These players I've known since they became San Francisco 49ers. So, from that standpoint, there is a real advantage, but there are no disadvantages, certainly.

Q: Has your dad ever given you any tips about being a head coach?
Yeah, about 40 years worth of them. It's been one of the great resources for me by having my dad as a head coach. This isn't new to me. While it might be my first chance to be a head football coach, I've lived with a head football coach for 15 years. I've seen what the life is like and I understand the scrutiny and I understand the ups and downs. So, he's given me a lot of tips. His first tip was about 20 years ago when he said, 'what are you crazy, you're going to coach.' So, he's a great resource for me.

Q: Did Jeff's frustration with the process ever come up in your conversation with him?
Mora: No. The process I'm sure for outsiders can be frustrating. But for those of us involved in the process, we realize that it's very complete. If you want to select the best football coach for this organization and for the fans of this city, then you want a guy who will set an agenda and follow it. That's what Terry and John have done. They said from the very beginning they said this is going to be our process, this is our agenda, this is our plan of action and they've followed it. I think the fans, the media, the people in this organization and the players on this team will feel tremendous confidence in whoever they choose to be their head football coach knowing they've looked under every rock and around every corner and investigated every candidate as thoroughly as they can. I know whomever is chosen as the head football coach ought to feel that confidence. Some organizations make snap decisions and live to regret it. This organization is being very thorough in its approach to finding an important part of the organization - the head football coach. Really what it comes down to is in September, October, November, December and January, what happens on the football field. Did we win, or not? That's really what it all boils down to.

Q: Does he worry the 49ers might be looking for a fresh start with someone outside the organization?
: I'm not convinced they want to get off to a clean start. I think they want to continue to win and continue to build on what we've done over the last three or four years here. This is an organization that's been to the very top and obviously we experienced a couple of tough years, but we found a way this year through adversity and injuries to win the division again. There's a real nucleus of young talent here, there's a window of opportunity here to go win the world championship, and I don't believe this organization wants to get off to a fresh start. I believe this organization wants to go win a world championship. That's always been the goal here and it always will be. It's not to rebuild. All you have to do is look right here (turns to Super Bowl trophies) and that's the objective of this organization, to put a couple more trophies in there. We want Paul Tagliabue handing Dr. York the Vince Lombardi trophy in January of next year.

Q: Is he worried about potential college coaching candidates?
Mora: Like Ted (Cottrell) said yesterday, you can't control everything. You only control what you can control. I'm not concerned with that. All I can do is the best job I can do while I'm in front of the decision makers. I have confidence in my ability, I have a plan for this organization and I have a course of action for this football team. That's all I can control. If I'm selected as head football coach, then we'll start working that plan. In terms of other candidates, there's a lot of great football coaches out there.. We tend to focus on certain guys, but I've been around long enough and been around some great football minds. I can tell you whoever they choose will do a tremendous job.

Q: Is the only way he'll return to the 49ers is as head coach?
I wouldn't say that that's the case. I have other opportunities out there, but I really feel strongly about this organization. I have since I got here. I did before I got here. I played a lot of games against this organization when I was coaching with San Diego and New Orleans, for sure. That remains to be seen.

Q: Is there a chance you could follow Mariucci to Detroit?
Mora: That would just be speculation at this time. I can't say yes or no. I just know I'll have opportunities. I think if you're a good football coach, people want you and that's always been the case with me.

Q: What have you been doing the past few weeks. Has it been normal off-season work?
: As much as possible. I've been to Disneyland. I have four children and my wife. The season's tough on families because we spend so much time here at the facility preparing for our opponents. There's a re-acquaintance with them and spending as much time with them as I can. That's what I like to do - I like to coach football and spend time with my family.

Q: Do you think this search is at all about money?
: No, it's about winning world championships. That's what this organization has always been about. Professional sports, whether we like it or not, is a business and it should be run as a business. But the bottom line, and I know this to be fact talking to the people who are making the decisions, is putting trophies in this case, winning world championships, presenting a class organization to the public - that's what it's all about with the 49ers. There's a different standard when you're a San Francisco 49er than there is just about anywhere else in this league - maybe in all of sports. For us, we need to continue to live up to that standard. The standard is those five trophies you see right there.

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