Linehan Declines 49ers' Job Offer

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Scott Linehan declined the San Francisco 49ers' offer to become their offensive coordinator Sunday, saying he wasn't ready to commit to his next coaching move.

Linehan, a respected offensive coordinator for Miami and
Minnesota, was fired four games into his third season as the St.
Louis Rams' head coach last September. He still wants to return to
coaching this year, but doesn't want to rush his choice.

"They were great to me from the top down, from ownership to the
front office to (49ers coach) Mike (Singletary)," Linehan told The
Associated Press in a phone interview from his home in St. Louis.
"It's just timing right now. I'm just not ready to make a
decision."

Linehan was offered the job Thursday after his second interview
with Singletary and general manager Scot McCloughan, who are
looking for the seventh offensive coordinator in seven seasons for
a franchise that redefined offensive football under Bill Walsh in
the 1980s.

Linehan asked for a couple of days to deliberate with his
family, but still didn't feel ready to commit to the Niners.

"They did not give me a timeline or pressure me or anything,"
Linehan said. "The franchise and the history and the direction
were just unbelievable. I just wouldn't want to leave Mike or Scot
or anybody hanging and drag this thing out."

Linehan emerged last week as the favorite in a field of four
finalists that included Cleveland offensive coordinator Rob
Chudzinski, Denver offensive coordinator Rick Dennison and
Indianapolis receivers coach Clyde Christensen.

But Linehan is out, and Dennison was retained on the staff of
new Broncos coach Josh McDaniels last week.

Linehan's decision is a setback for Singletary, who said he
hoped to have a new coordinator hired "yesterday" when he
discussed offensive coordinator Mike Martz's firing Dec. 31.

Singletary went 5-4 after taking over for Mike Nolan during the
season, and the 49ers removed the interim designation from his
title about 15 minutes after San Francisco beat Washington in the
season finale to complete its sixth consecutive losing season.
Singletary then fired Martz two days later, saying Martz's
inventive passing schemes clashed with his desire for a run-based
attack.

But Singletary's two remaining candidates both have roots in
pass-based offenses. Chudzinski became a hot coaching prospect last
season when Derek Anderson's passing led Cleveland into the
playoffs with 402 points, while Christensen has been a key part of
the Indianapolis offenses built around Peyton Manning and Marvin
Harrison.

Linehan seemed to be an ideal fit for the 49ers, and not just
for his history of building effective running games. He spent three
seasons in Minnesota tutoring quarterback Shaun Hill, who led San
Francisco's resurgence under Singletary, and Linehan also has
coached with John L. Smith, the uncle of 49ers quarterback Alex
Smith.

Linehan, who said he has been contacted by other teams about
possible jobs, expects to attend the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.,
next week along with nearly every team's coaching staff - including
Singletary and the 49ers' assistants.

"I'm going to have to move some time," Linehan said. "I've
got to find a spot here sooner or later. I'm trying to figure out
what's the best situation for the Linehans."


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