Jed York says he won't stop offensive coordinator Greg Roman or any of the 49ers assistants from landing a higher-profile job elsewhere. But he says the team is better equipped to handle the loss of another offensive coordinator than it was in previous seasons.
"I talked about that when we were really going into that coaching search and we wanted an offensive-mined head coach," the 49ers CEO said on "Chronicle Live" this evening. "You know that if Jim (Harbaugh) is your head coach, he can step in as coordinator if he needs to be. I don't think that's what Jim will choose to do. But he's got the ability to do that and keep the continuity on offense. And for the most important position in all of sports, it keeps that continuity for your quarterback."
Roman has interviewed for the head-coaching position at Penn State, and the school is likely to make a decision on Joe Paterno's replacement in the next week. Roman is the 49ers' ninth offensive coordinator in the last nine seasons, and that turnover has been blamed for everything from the team's recent offensive struggles to quarterback Alex Smith's inconsistency.
Still, York said he wouldn't try to keep Roman from leaving. The 49ers lost excellent assistants under Bill Walsh during the franchise's golden age, but they seemed to always have a talented replacement at hand. York said he learned a lesson from Walsh:
"If you want the best people, you have to let them go," he said. "And I'd love to have Greg Roman here as our offensive coordinator for a long time. But I'm never going to hold anybody back if they're going to get a head-coaching opportunity and that's what their dream is."
-- Matt Barrows