The 49ers are serious about keeping the gang together. According to a report on NFL.com, the team denied the Buccaneers permission to talk to talk to defensive backs coach Ed Donatell about Tampa Bay's vacant defensive coordinator position. Donatell's name was raised in relations to the Raiders' defensive coordinator job, too, but Donatell never was contacted.
Donatell has twice been an NFL defensive coordinator - in Green Bay from 2000-03 and in Atlanta from 2004-06. He also ran the defense at the University of Washington in 2008. He received praise this year from head coach Jim Harbaugh for his work with the 49ers' secondary, which saw two players - Carlos Rogers and Dashon Goldson - reach the Pro Bowl. Cornerback Tarell Brown also had the best season of his career and rookie Chris Culliver had a big role as the nickel cornerback.
Denying assistants permission to interview for bigger roles on other teams is considered rare. Doing so is generally thought to discourage talented coaches from joining your staff because of a fear they will have a tough time advancing.
-- Matt Barrows