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Friday, December 31, 2010
Questions for the 49ers' next head coach

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Facebook friend Robert asks: What's your take on the fact that a big-name head coach won't want to join the Niners because the coach wouldn't have enough power? To me personally, I felt like they gave Mike Singletary too much power for not having any experience. So, if they were willing to give him so much power, why wouldn't they give an established coach enough power?

Mike Sando: We do not know how much power the 49ers will wind up giving their next coach, or whether it is indeed a fact that a big-name coach will not want to join the team. I do not think the 49ers gave Singletary significantly more power than most coaches enjoy. They gave him discretion over the 53-man roster, but Singletary did not determine which 80 players would be in camp to begin with.

Jim Harbaugh's name surfaced early in the process. There hasn't been much on that front recently. It could be because the 49ers will not pursue a coach until they hire a GM. It's also possible Harbuagh isn't itching to leave Stanford for the 49ers.

A thought after Mike Lombardi interviewed for the 49ers' job as general manager, then quickly said he wasn't a candidate and the team would hire in-house candidate Trent Baalke within 48 hours: Lombardi and Harbaugh's agent, Jack Bechta, have both worked for National Football Post. If Lombardi wasn't impressed with what he encountered in speaking with the 49ers, Harbaugh's camp might know some of the details.

The 49ers have some talent on their roster, but this head coaching job is not as appealing as some others. A big-name coach might look at the 49ers and ask a range of questions, including:
We're looking at an incomplete picture here. Questions outnumber answers. I summarized a few of my early thoughts in this video piece.