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Does Peyton Manning hold key to Adam Gase for 49ers?

1/13/2015

There are so many moving parts to the situation in Denver that you must first take off your red and gold glasses for a moment before pondering -- if you were Adam Gase, would you rather stay put with the Broncos and go for the head gig in a place you've worked the past six years, or come to Santa Clara and take over the San Francisco 49ers.

Would you rather coach Peyton Manning, or Colin Kaepernick? Work for John Elway, or Jed York and Trent Baalke?

Of course, nothing has been offered, not in the Mile High City nor in Silicon Valley. Not yet.

But with everything being so fluid with the Broncos less than 24 hours after head coach John Fox and the team parted ways, and Gase reportedly set for a second interview with the Niners, there would seemingly be many things to consider for Gase, who was an offensive assistant with the 49ers in 2008 and is reportedly up for consideration to be elevated by the Broncos.

Gase was Denver's receivers coach in 2009 and 2010 before serving as the quarterbacks coach the next two seasons.

In his first year as the Broncos' offensive coordinator, in 2013, Denver set an NFL record for most points scored in a season (606) and scored the most touchdowns in league history (76) while averaging 37.9 points per game and 457.9 yards.

This past season, Denver had the No. 4-ranked total offense and was the AFC's highest-scoring team with 482 points.

But of course, this was all with Manning under center, and he can make a lot of people look smart.

And therein lies the potential rub.

Gase is purportedly very close to Manning, and if Manning decides to return to Denver for another run at a ring, that could sway Gase to stay put. But if Manning retires, maybe Gase decides it is time to move on for the next challenge.

York said he wanted a "teacher" as his next coach. And while Fox, who turns 60 next month, would seemingly fit that profile (hey, he even has white hair like Bill Walsh did), he is a defensive-minded coach.

Gase, who turns 37 in March, may not have that professorial acumen, but he did tutor Tim Tebow as the Broncos' QB coach in 2011. I'm not saying Kaepernick is Tebow (I've always thought that Terrelle Pryor's skill set more closely resembled that of Tebow) but if Gase could get something out of Tebow (the Broncos did win the AFC West that season), perhaps he can jumpstart Kaepernick.

You know, as a "teacher," of sorts.