In the running

Bears defensive coordinator Greg Blache interviewed Monday with the San Francisco 49ers for their head coaching vacancy and has been asked back by the organization for a second interview to take place Thursday.

"He's certainly got the credentials for the job," Bears coach Dick Jauron said of Blache, whom he worked with in Green Bay from 1988-93 before reuniting with him in Chicago. "I'm certain that he's really a great candidate for the position. He's got the football knowledge and the football background.

"He's worked his way through the system. He's a great assistant coach. He's been a great defensive coordinator. He's a hard worker, a very loyal guy and a very smart guy. I think he'd do a tremendous job anywhere for any organization."

The other two finalists are 49ers defensive coordinator Jim Mora Jr. and New York Jets defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell.

Mora Jr., 41, is the son of former New Orleans and Indianapolis head coach Jim Mora. He served as a defensive assistant with the Washington Redskins (1984), San Diego Chargers (1985-91) and Saints (1992-96) prior to going to San Francisco in 1997.

Cottrell, 55, became Jets defensive coordinator in 2001 after spending six years in Buffalo, the final three as defensive coordinator. He also was with Arizona from 1990-94.

"The addition of potential candidates from college football along with Greg, Ted and Jim will give us a deep and talented pool from which to choose our head coach," said 49ers GM Terry Donahue.

College names that have been mentioned are Washington's Rick Neuheisel and Southern California's Pete Carroll.

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