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Bucs' Koetter interviews for 49ers' coaching job

Bucs offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, a strong candidate to replace Lovie Smith, talks to the 49ers on Saturday.

MONICA HERNDON | Times

Bucs offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, a strong candidate to replace Lovie Smith, talks to the 49ers on Saturday.

TAMPA — The Bucs are not the only NFL team interested in Dirk Koetter as a head coach.

The Bucs' offensive coordinator, identified by Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht as a "very strong candidate" to replace the fired Lovie Smith, interviewed Saturday in Tampa with the 49ers about their head coaching vacancy, according to the Sacramento Bee.

"I'm not surprised that a lot of teams are wanting to talk to him," Licht said Thursday. "I don't know if you can classify that as a tug of war. We're just beginning the process."

The 49ers have already interviewed former Eagles coach Chip Kelly, Bills running backs coach Anthony Lynn and Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, and are expected to interview Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson today.

And as one Bucs rival for Koetter stepped up Saturday — the Eagles reportedly also asked to interview him — another was eliminated as the Dolphins named Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase, 37, as their new coach.

The Bucs have confirmed interviews this weekend with Carolina defensive coordinator Sean McDermott and Arizona offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin, both of whom have worked with Licht in the past.

Koetter, 56, isn't likely a front-runner for the 49ers job, but his work with Bucs rookie Jameis Winston this year could help him with San Francisco, which could use the No. 7 pick in April's draft on a quarterback. Koetter's first college coaching job was 30 years ago at San Francisco State.

Dolphins select coach

MIAMI — Adam Gase's introductory news conference as Dolphins coach wrapped up an hour before the NFL playoffs began Saturday, and the goal going forward was clear.

The Dolphins want more postseason games in January, and fewer coaching searches.

Gase was hired Saturday as Miami's ninth coach since 2004, and he'll try to end the team's seven-year playoff drought.

And once he gets the Dolphins to the postseason, owner Stephen Ross expects them to win.

"You can make the playoffs; that to me is not winning," Ross said. "I want to go a lot further than that, as do the fans."

The Dolphins haven't won a playoff game since 2000, a big reason for their coaching carousel.

Gase was the offensive coordinator for the high-scoring Broncos in 2013-14 but also for the last-place Bears this season. He has no head coaching experience, and at 37 he is the league's youngest coach.

"I've been in this profession since I was 18," he said. "That's more than half my life. The last three years it's an accelerated growth. Age is only a number. You get older really quick. Every week is a growing experience."

Gase was the league's hottest coaching candidate among assistants. He also interviewed with the Eagles, Browns and Giants, but the Dolphins rushed to seal the deal.

"Like in business, if you find the right guy, why give a chance for someone else to grab him?" Ross said.

Gase is expected to choose Bengals defensive backs coach Vance Joseph as his defensive coordinator, Fox Sports reported.

Browns: Hours after Gase, the first candidate Cleveland interviewed, signed with Miami, the team's search committee met with Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. Cleveland has a track record with New England defensive assistants, hiring Romeo Crennel as coach in 2005 and Eric Mangini in 2009, both of whom worked for Patriots coach Bill Belichick, himself the head coach of the original Browns from 1991-95.

Eagles: Tom Coughlin will visit Monday to talk about the team's coaching vacancy, the New York Times reported. Coughlin, 69, stepped down as Giants coach last week but said he was not necessarily retiring,

Giants: Former Bills coach Doug Marrone, now a Jaguars assistant, interviewed with team president John Mara and general manager Jerry Reese for the head coaching job.

Relocation: Commissioner Roger Goodell said the existing stadiums in St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland are "inadequate and unsatisfactory," and the proposals the Rams, Chargers and Raiders received to remain in their current cities lacked certainty, the Los Angeles Times reported. Goodell sent a 48-page report to team owners and cited a lack of long-term solutions in plans to build new facilities. Meanwhile, boisterous Los Angeles Rams fans gathered for a rally at the Coliseum, heralding their franchise's possible return after 21 seasons in St. Louis.

Starr's status: Bart Starr's family said the Hall of Fame quarterback is recovering after breaking his hip just before Christmas. The family issued a statement through the Packers saying Starr, who turned 82 on Saturday, was injured Dec. 22 when he fell in the bathroom.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Bucs' Koetter interviews for 49ers' coaching job 01/09/16 [Last modified: Saturday, January 9, 2016 10:24pm]
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