49ers planning 2nd interviews with Shanahan, Paton
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) The San Francisco 49ers are planning to conduct a second interview with Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan on Friday in hopes of settling on the choice for their next head coach.
Team CEO Jed York was scheduled to meet with Shanahan in Atlanta during a break in the Falcons' preparations for the Super Bowl. Shanahan can't sign a contract with San Francisco until after the game on Feb. 5, but he is the only remaining candidate to replace the fired Chip Kelly as 49ers coach.
York is also expected to meet Friday for a second interview with potential general manager candidate George Paton to replace the fired Trent Baalke. Paton is assistant GM in Minnesota.
Arizona vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough is expected to get a second interview for the GM job on Saturday in Atlanta.
The 49ers are undergoing a major overhaul following a 2-14 season that matched the worst in franchise history.
York said he was open to hiring either the coach or general manager first. He said the primary goal in the search is finding a coach and general manager who can work well together.
San Francisco has the last of six head coach openings this offseason. Three of the other jobs were filled by candidates who had interviewed with San Francisco: Washington offensive coordinator Sean McVay got hired by the Los Angeles Rams, Carolina defensive coordinator Sean McDermott got the job in Buffalo and Bills interim coach Anthony Lynn took over the Chargers.
Vance Joseph was also hired in Denver before he could interview with San Francisco.
New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Seattle offensive line coach Tom Cable also interviewed with San Francisco before dropping out of the search.
Shanahan is the son of two-time Super Bowl winning head coach Mike Shanahan, who also won a title as offensive coordinator in San Francisco in 1994.
Kyle Shanahan's stock as a candidate has climbed as his Falcons offense has flourished. Atlanta led the NFL in scoring, averaging 33.8 points per game, and quarterback Matt Ryan was picked as a first-team AP All-Pro. Shanahan was selected as the league's top assistant coach by the Pro Football Writers of America.
''He's been huge,'' Ryan said this week. ''Kyle's got a really good feel for having the pulse of the group of guys who are there, putting people in position to succeed and playing to guys' strengths.
''We've got a lot of different moving parts, a lot of guys who can make plays. He's kind of orchestrated it and balanced that really, really well throughout the year.''
Shanahan got his first NFL job as an offensive quality control coach in Tampa Bay in 2004. He also served as an offensive coordinator in Houston, Washington and Cleveland before arriving in Atlanta last season.
Shanahan has grown up around football. While serving as a ball boy for the 49ers, where his father was an assistant coach, he got to hang out at training camp with players such as Jerry Rice, Steve Young and John Taylor. When playing in high school, he worked out alongside plenty of NFL stars, giving him a chance to study their routines and pick their brains for advice.
''I've been sitting in draft meetings since high school,'' Shanahan said earlier this week. ''Not because I always wanted to coach. Just because I loved watching football and hearing about players and trying to be a player.
''I never realized it was a big deal, but once I got in the NFL and some things come a little quicker, you're like, `Maybe it did help being around it my whole life.'''
AP Sports Writer Paul Newberry in Flowery Branch, Georgia, contributed to this report
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