SANTA CLARA (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers interviewed Carolina defensive coordinator Sean McDermott for their head coaching vacancy and ESPN analyst Louis Riddick for their general manager job on Tuesday.
McDermott became the first defensive coach to interview with CEO Jed York for the coach opening in San Francisco as the team seeks replacements for fired coach Chip Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke following a 2-14 season that tied the worst mark in franchise history.
The four previous head coach candidates all served as offensive coordinators in the NFL this season: New England’s Josh McDaniels, Atlanta’s Kyle Shanahan, Buffalo’s Anthony Lynn and Washington’s Sean McVay.
McDermott just finished his sixth season as coordinator for the Panthers. His unit ranked in the top 10 from 2012-15 and he was the only coordinator to oversee a top 10 defense in each of those four seasons.
McDermott helped the Panthers reach the Super Bowl last season before they struggled this season after the departure of star cornerback Josh Norman and injuries to star linebacker Luke Kuechly.
Before arriving in Carolina in 2011, McDermott had spent 12 seasons in Philadelphia, including two as coordinator. He was part of Eagles teams that won six division titles, played in five NFC championship games and made one Super Bowl trip.
McDermott interviewed for the Bills’ opening last week.
Riddick, a ninth-round pick by San Francisco in 1991, played six seasons in the NFL with Atlanta, Cleveland and Oakland. He then spent time in the front office in Washington and Philadelphia after his playing career, first as a scout and then director of pro personnel with both teams before becoming a television analyst in 2013.
York had previously interviewed five other candidates for general manager, including Carolina assistant GM Brandon Beane on Monday. The other executives interviewed were Indianapolis vice president of football operations Jimmy Raye III, Minnesota assistant GM George Paton, Green Bay director of football operations Eliot Wolf and Packers director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst.
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.
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