The Press Democrat

Mora upbeat over 49er interview
January 23, 2003

Defensive coordinator Jim Mora Jr. spent most of Tuesday and Wednesday in Southern California interviewing for the 49ers head-coaching job with general manager Terry Donahue.

Mora, 41, the son of a longtime NFL head coach, is one of four candidates Donahue announced Tuesday to succeed Steve Mariucci, who was fired last week.

"Things went very well," Mora said. "We covered a lot of topics. I really enjoyed it. It was time well-spent. I left feeling very, very good."

Eagles offensive coordinator Brad Childress and New England defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel also are likely to be interviewed. Philadelphia defensive coordinator Jim Johnson has withdrawn from consideration. Donahue said he might interview up to four additional candidates.

Earlier this week, Mora interviewed for the Carolina Panthers' defensive coordinator job.

Panthers coach John Fox is looking for a replacement for Jack Del Rio, who was hired last week as coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Mora said it is not necessarily important for the 49ers to make a decision in a hurry so the Panthers' position does not close on him.

"What is important is that Terry is given the opportunity to work the process," Mora said. "I have a real good relationship with John Fox. He understands the process at work here. He'd love to see me get an opportunity to be a head coach.

"He and I are in communication every day. I believe if things might not work out like I hope here, there would be a good opportunity there."

When asked if he would rule out a return to the 49ers as defensive coordinator, Mora answered, "Absolutely not."

Mora has not been officially contacted about the defensive coordinator position with Mike Holmgren's Seattle Seahawks, who hired former 49ers defensive line coach Dwaine Board, but he could be a candidate for that opening, too. Ray Rhodes is seen as the most likely prospect for the Seattle job.

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