- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Jim Harbaugh's NFL coaching tree appears to be blossoming.
Sunday, Harbaugh became the third NFL coach (along with his brother John and Barry Switzer) to win a playoff game in his three seasons as a coach, and Monday, an expected development came to fruition as teams began to ask permission to talk to San Francisco assistants for head-coaching jobs.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Minnesota and Washington asked permission to interview offensive coordinator Greg Roman and that Washington asked permission to talk to defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. ESPN reported last week teams were doing background checks on defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. Monday, Harbaugh confirmed that the team has heard from other teams on all three men.
While this could mean Harbaugh will have to make big changes to his staff after the season, he seemed prideful that his assistants are getting noticed.
"Those guys are great coaches, all of them," Harbaugh said. "There's nobody that's got a better staff, in my humble opinion, than we do here ... Amazing staff. You wonder sometimes why it's taken this long. But, people are looking for coaches that ... if you want the one-year flash, sometimes seems like people hire that. But, here when you look at Greg Roman, Vic Fangio, Brad Seely, Jim Tomsula, and others that we have on our staff that are consistently good year after year, I think that's special. That's something special. And, I would be surprised if somebody's not hired as a head coach."
The favorite of the three to land a job this year is probably Roman, but it is not out of question that teams sit down with Fangio and Tomsula and get blown away by their knowledge and approach. While the focus in San Francisco is the playoffs, the changing of Harbaugh staff is certainly a story worth monitoring.