Just when you thought the San Francisco 49ers were in the midst of turning the franchise around you are reminded that they are the 49ers. Josh McDaniels is in preliminary talks to be the new San Francisco 49ers head coach. Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, and Michael Crabtree just hit the trade block.
I thought I saw the end of the NFL retreads with this rising new trend of hiring young coordinators to be NFL head coaches. Leave it to the San Francisco 49ers to change that. Was Wade Phillips or Herm Edwards unavailable? The idea that the same guy that almost single-handedly set a franchise back five years is even considered for a head coaching job in the NFL just weeks after he was fired is simply mind boggling.
I have to admit that while the 49ers desperately need a quality head coach that $7 million is ridiculous to pay someone who has zero experience coaching anything in the NFL game. Jim Harbarugh’s run at Stanford is very impressive but we have seen numerous times that a head coach with success in college doesn’t guarantee that he will be successful in the NFL. For every Jimmy Johnson there are three more Bobby Petrinos Steve Spurriers, and Nick Sabans. To put this into perspective, Jim’s brother John makes a reported $2 million a year and he was a longtime coordinator in the NFL before he was hired.
Okay fine you don’t want to pay Jim Harbaugh $7million a year, especially with a lockout looming. I get it. But how do you go from Jim Harbaugh to Josh McDaniels? There are plenty of other prospects both in the NFL and the NCAA that would make more sense. Pat Schurmur, Ron Rivera, and Hue Jackson would be a better gamble. I would hire Eric Mangini or Tom Cable before Josh McDaniels and that says a lot.
It is a shame because there is so much rich tradition in the San Francisco 49ers that it is almost criminal what has happened to them over the last several years. I remember getting excited when I’d turn on a game and see the San Francisco 49ers playing. Today if I see the 49ers scheduled for Monday or Sunday Night Football I make other plans. The franchise has turned into a joke.
And for that he is closer than ever to doing the same thing for someone else. If 49ers aren’t rioting in the streets over this news, it is because they just don’t care anymore. An angry fan base is one thing but an apathetic fan base is almost a death knell in the NFL.
Just ask the Oakland Raiders.
UPDATE: ESPN reports that McDaniels is not interested in the job. My hunch tells me that this could either be a negotiating ploy or a way to save face if the 49ers do sign Jim Harbaugh.