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Friday, January 23, 2009
Niners' meandering search knows few bounds

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The 49ers' reported interest in Dan Reeves suggests the 49ers' search for an offensive coordinator has taken them far off course.

I've been trying to confirm the specific nature of the 49ers' interest to make sure Reeves is, in fact, a candidate for that job (update: Reeves is at 49ers headquarters and already interviewing for the coordinator's job). Coach Mike Singletary has consulted with Reeves in the past, seeking advice from the 65-year-old former Broncos, Giants and Falcons head coach.

Reeves, in turn, has recently expressed a desire to get back into coaching. He has not coached since the Falcons fired him following the 2003 season.

Hiring a coach removed from the game so long would open the 49ers to easy criticism. While I do think Singletary needs an established offensive coordinator to handle all aspects of the offense, I wasn't thinking of candidates with playing experience dating to the Ice Bowl.

Reeves would certainly bring experience, leadership, toughness and integrity. He could help Singletary with game management, if needed. But has the game passed him by? Would that even matter given Singletary's interest in establishing a run-oriented offense?

Either way, the 49ers' search for assistant coaches seems to lack coherence.

We have so far seen Singletary hire a nephew (Vantz Singletary) and former teammate (Al Harris) to newly created positions.

We have seen Singletary add former 49ers fullback and Raiders assistant Tom Rathman, who turned away other opportunities because he wanted to stay in the Bay Area.

We have seen Singletary offer the coordinator's job to Scott Linehan, who turned it down and then took a job with a Lions franchise coming off a 0-16 record.

We now apparently have Reeves joining Hue Jackson as candidates to become offensive coordinator, with Rob Chudzinski and Clyde Christensen already having interviewed.