Ravens' Nolan has good interview with 49ers

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Nolan interviewed with San Francisco 49ers owner John York and other team officials for six hours Thursday in St. Louis.<br><br> Nolan is the fourth candidate to interview for the 49ers' head-coaching vacancy, following New York Giants defensive coordinator Tim Lewis, Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger and New England Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel.

Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, a former Ravens assistant is scheduled to interview today.

"It was another really good interview, he's a very strong candidate." 49ers team spokesman Kirk Reynolds said regarding Nolan. "They have been impressed by all the candidates. This guy, in particular, coach Nolan, obviously brings a tremendous amount of experience to the table."

Nolan, 45, is the son of former 49ers and New Orleans Saints head coach Dick Nolan. A former coordinator for the Washington Redskins, New York Giants and New York Jets, Nolan coached the NFL's sixth-ranked defense this season.

The Ravens scored seven defensive touchdowns to lead the league.
In 2003, the Ravens ranked third in total defense, first in sacks (41) and second in takeaways (41).

If Nolan leaves, the Ravens will likely promote defensive line coach Rex Ryan to coordinator.

"He's been a coordinator for a long time, has been in a variety of systems for a variety of coaches and has been successful," Reynolds said of Nolan, "and that's appealing. He has a wealth of experience."
The 49ers haven't approached Jim Fassel, although former Ravens secondary coach Donnie Henderson, the New York Jets' fiery defensive coordinator, has been mentioned as a potential candidate along with Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray.

Meanwhile, the Ravens didn't interview any candidates Thursday for the offensive coordinator post vacated when Matt Cavanaugh resigned under pressure the day after Baltimore completed a 9-7 campaign and missed the playoffs.

It appears to be coming down to former University of Washington coach Rick Neuheisel, the only person to interview twice, and Fassel. New Orleans Saints quarterbacks coach Mike Sheppard hasn't been brought back for a second interview.

NOTES: Linebacker Ray Lewis underwent surgery on his fractured wrist, and is going to attempt to play in the Pro Bowl. ... Running back Jamal Lewis is scheduled to undergo surgery on his ankle. ... Linebacker Cornell Brown had shoulder surgery and is in a sling. ... Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed's cleats and the football he intercepted to set the single-season mark for interception return yardage will be displayed at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Reed intercepted nine passes, returning them for a total of 358 yards and was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

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