The Oakland Tribune

Madden weighs in on Mariucci
January 22, 2003
SAN DIEGO -- ABC analyst John Madden, reiterating a point he'd made on his Bay Area radio gig in even stronger terms, said Tuesday he's convinced the firing of San Francisco 49ers coach Steve Mariucci was motivated by economics and not performance or a quest by Mariucci for more authority.

"I said I thought it was economics because no matter how you put it, Steve Mariucci was one of the top 10 coaches in the league," Madden said. "To say you're just going to get rid of him and not have another guy, I just didn't understand it. You wouldn't do it unless it was for money."

Madden likened Mariucci's departure to Jon Gruden's exodus from Oakland to Tampa Bay.

"Gruden was going to have to get 4-5 million dollars a year, and the Raiders weren't going to pay it," he said. "And Mariucci was going to have to get up in that 31/2-4 million dollars a year, and the 49ers weren't going to pay it."

Madden wouldn't hazard a guess on whom the next 49ers coach might be, but he did have a prediction about Mooch.

"I don't know what'll happen (with the 49ers)," he said. "But I think Mariucci will go to Detroit."

--Carl Steward

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