Contra Costa Times

49ers lose interest in only offensive-minded candidate
February 01, 2003
By Cam Inman

The 49ers' coaching search became even more defensive oriented Friday when they announced they've removed Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Brad Childress from consideration.

According to the Eagles' Web site, Childress pulled himself out of consideration for the 49ers job after agreeing to a three-year extension with the Eagles.

Childress is the only offensive-minded coach interviewed in the past two weeks by general manager Terry Donahue, who's known to have met with four candidates.

"I called Brad today to tell him we're going in a different direction in our coaching search," Donahue said in a team-issued statement. "I thanked him for his time and his effort. He's an excellent football coach and I enjoyed getting to know him, but we are focusing on other candidates."

The three other candidates Donahue has interviewed are NFL defensive coordinators -- the 49ers' Jim Mora, the New England Patriots' Romeo Crennel and the New York Jets' Ted Cottrell. Two other defensive coordinators, the Eagles' Jim Johnson and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Monte Kiffin, turned down opportunities to interview with Donahue after signing lucrative contract extensions to remain with their respective clubs.

The 49ers have been without a coach since Steve Mariucci's firing Jan. 15.

Another coach who initially drew the 49ers' interest but hasn't been asked to interview is Carolina Panthers running backs coach Jim Skipper, who guided the San Francisco Demons to the XFL championship game in 2001, the league's only season.

"At one point my name was kicked around, but I couldn't get into the (interview) arena, so to speak," Skipper said Friday from his Panthers office. "I don't know if it's an XFL thing. It would have been a great honor."

Skipper said he's as qualified as the other coaches the 49ers have interviewed. He's been an NFL assistant for 16 years.

Another coach reportedly under consideration by the 49ers is Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Greg Blache. A 49ers spokesman said the team hasn't requested permission to speak with Blache.

NOTES: 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens and Tampa Bay defensive end Simeon Rice each were fined $4,000 for missing the NFC's Pro Bowl practice and a post-practice meeting. The league said no further action will be taken and that Owens and Rice will play in the Pro Bowl on Sunday.

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