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One coaching candidate 49ers fans don’t want Jed York to hire

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Of all the 49ers’ head coaching candidates, the only one who has been met with negative feedback is Seattle offensive line coach Tom Cable.

Cable led the Raiders to a 17-27 record as head coach from 2008-2010, but is best remembered for breaking the jaw of an assistant coach. He’s also been accused of physical abuse by two ex-wives and an ex-girlfriend.

Talk about a checkered past.

Everyone deserves a second chance, but most NFL teams have recognized Cable is not the face-of-the-franchise type of leader they want representing the organization. Jed York was the only owner to request Cable for an interview.

The scary part? Cable has been a part of establishing the “championship culture” in Seattle, the cliché corporate buzzword York said he’s looking for most. Josh McDaniels is the only other candidate that has won a Super Bowl as an assistant coach, and he did it the easy way, with Tom Brady. So in York’s eyes, Cable could be a leading candidate for this job.

But going from Chip Kelly’s relaxed style to Cable’s in-your-face personality will be a culture shock to the 49ers locker room. And while that tension would likely change the direction of the team for the better in the short term, it would be extremely difficult for Cable to sustain a hard-ass mantra for years and years with new Millennial players. NFL athletes want to be encouraged, not lambasted. Maybe it’s me, but I just have a tough time picturing Cable establishing strong relationships with players.

Cable sat down with USA Today’s Tom Pelissero and tried to explain he’s changed his coaching style.

“How to make a group realize how much they need each other, how to love each other, tell them the truth, treat them like men, don’t try to play parent to all of them and make them feel like, ‘Gosh, here’s Dad talking again,'” Cable said.

There is someone who works inside the 49ers building that would be in favor of York hiring Cable. Team broadcaster Tim Ryan joined the Murph and Mac show Friday and explained why.

“Tom has done a nice job,” Ryan said. “He’s in charge of that run game. And everybody looks back at Seattle and all the years of success with Marshawn Lynch who is obviously a different animal to coach. And what Tom did with that run game, and has really always been in charge of the run game under Darrell Bevell.”

Except Seattle didn’t really have a good run game this year. They finished 25th in league (99.4 yards per game). Despite facing eight-man fronts, the 49ers ranked 4th in rushing under Kelly’s direction in 2016. But Cable is respected as a coach because Seattle gives him bare bones on the offensive line, and they still make it work.

The one argument Cable does have going for him is that this would be his second go-around. A few years ago, retread coaches on the market were not deemed viable. Now? The trait of having been fired is considered a strength. Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll Tom Coughlin, Tony Dungy and Mike Shanahan all won Super Bowls with their second teams.

“He’s done it before,” Ryan said. “And I think guys that have done it before, that are smart enough — and look, I’ve talked to Tom many times. Things that guys learn from the first time around and then change up the second time around. I think he’d be a fine candidate.

“And you look at the potential general manager, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about Trent Kirchner from Seattle as well. So that could end up being a package deal if they go in that direction.”

I would be fine with pretty much any other name besides Cable. Josh McDaniels and Kyle Shanahan are preferred, but I’d take a chance on Sean McVay, Anthony Lynn, even Sean McDermott or Vance Joseph.

Let’s hope York is just trying to glean information from Cable about the Seahawks’ operation. But because he’s hired Jim Tomsula and Kelly in back-to-back seasons, seeing Cable at an introductory press conference in Santa Clara is not entirely out of the question.

 

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