AFC West: Jim Tomsula

The San Francisco 49ers potentially could see multiple coaches emerge as NFL head-coaching candidates this month.

A league source said some teams (there are currently six teams without a head coach) are beginning to do background work on defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. He could emerge as a candidate in the next week. As per league rule, coaches in the wild-card round (the 49ers play at Green Bay on Sunday) can’t interview this week.

Tomsula could be considered a long-shot because he’s never been a NFL coordinator. However, coaches such as Andy Reid and John Harbaugh have become successful head coaches after making the jump from an NFL positional coach.

He does have experience as a head coach in NFL Europe. Tomsula, known for an energetic personality and positive attitude, is one of the more respect defensive line coaches in the NFL.

If continued interest in Tomsula develops, he’d join offensive coordinator Greg Roman as a possible head-coach candidate. Roman’s name is floating around as a possible candidate in several spots as it did last year.

Meanwhile, USC has announced 49ers’ offensive line coach Tim Drevno will become offensive line coach at the school after the 49ers’ season ends. He has been with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh for 10 years. The team still has offensive line coach Mike Solari. The 49ers will likely fill the role in the offseason.
I had the opportunity to speak to new Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel on Thursday morning about an upcoming project. However, I was able to ask him about the team’s progress toward hiring offensive and defensive coordinators.

Crennel indicated that the offensive and defensive coordinator positions will likely not be filled in the immediate future. Crennel said he is in the early stages of the process and that the team needs to get some permission to talk to some candidates. That could be an indication that the Chiefs might have some candidates who are position coaches elsewhere in the league.

Crennel said he hopes to interview candidates next week and at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama the following week.

He did not discuss specific candidates. Among the potential candidates for the offensive coordinator job could include Kansas City quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn, former Jacksonville offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and perhaps even former Oakland coach Hue Jackson. Possible defensive candidates could include Kansas City assistant Gary Gibbs, former Jacksonville defensive coordinator and interim coach Mel Tucker, and San Francisco assistant Jim Tomsula.

In other AFC West news:

Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. lists Kansas City’s Tamba Hali as the third best pass-rusher in the NFL.

The San Diego Union-Tribune believes its time the Chargers give Vincent Jackson a long-term deal. I agree. I believe the sides will talk seriously about it. The Chargers would rather not put the hefty franchise tag on Jackson, so a long-term deal might be the best option.

Late-night television has gotten in on Tebowmania.

What's next for Romeo Crennel?

January, 9, 2012
1/09/12
4:30
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Now that Romeo Crennel has been hired as the permanent coach in Kansas City, the focus will be on his coordinator hires.

Reports suggest Kansas City will pursue a high-profile, dynamic offensive coordinator to help Crennel, who is a defensive specialist. Former Kansas City coach Todd Haley was an offensive-minded coach. Bill Muir, the Chiefs’ current offensive coordinator, reportedly may retire.

The problem with finding a star offensive coordinator is the fact there aren’t many available. One name to consider may be former Jacksonville offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. He is considered an up-and-comer. He interviewed for the head-coaching job in Denver last year. Other available names include former NFL head coaches Brad Childress and Mike Martz.

Koetter might be a safer pick, though, since Childress and Martz have reportedly had issues with getting along with co-workers and/or players in the past. After firing the volatile Haley, the Chiefs want stability and that is a big reason why Crennel was promoted.

One name to keep in mind is current Kansas City quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn. He is a respected, experienced coach, who knows this team and he works well with Crennel. Considering the Chiefs have had three different offenses in the past three seasons, sticking with a familiar coach makes sense.

The defensive coordinator search is less importance since Crennel will still have a big hand in the running the unit.

One name that may surface is former Jacksonville defensive coordinator and interim coach Mel Tucker. He was on Crennel’s staff in Cleveland. Another candidate could be San Francisco defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. Kansas City linebackers coach Gary Gibbs is also reportedly a candidate.

Crennel will likely get right to work on the assistant coach search and I could see the key openings being filed in the next week or so.

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