49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

January 15, 2014
Vikings hire head coach; Roman, Tomsula passed over


The Minnesota Vikings, one of two teams still looking for a head coach, found their man today, and it wasn't 49ers assistant Greg Roman or Jim Tomsula. Both had interviewed with the Vikings on Saturday in Charlotte, N.C. Instead, the Vikings tapped Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer for the job.

With the 49ers playing in the NFC Championship game for the third straight season, and with the possibility that an assistant could not join another team until after the Feb. 2 Super Bowl, it seems unlikely that any 49ers assistant will get a head-coaching gig this year. I wrote about the obstacles the 49ers assistants face last week.

Still, there remain possibilities, including the Cleveland Browns, the lone team without a head coach. Cleveland's general manager, Mike Lombardi, is close to Jim Harbaugh from their time together on the Raiders. Lombardi, who was a finalist for the 49ers' general manger job (loud cough/the 49ers were going with Trent Baalke all the way), presumably likes Harbaugh's style of play and could be interested in bringing an assistant or two for an interview. The Browns certainly seem intent on slow-playing the process.

There also remains the possibility of a 49ers assistant taking a better assistant job elsewhere. Secondary coach Ed Donatell, for instance, has been a candidate for defensive coordinator the last two seasons but the 49ers have blocked his interviews. They cannot do so this offseason. Tomsula, meanwhile, is a defensive line coach and may be looking to become a coordinator. The Vikings ostensibly could be looking at him in that capacity now that they've found their head coach.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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