Sports Illustrated's Peter King reported as much on this week's re-scheduled Tuesday night edition of NBC's Sunday Night Football. In a segment available online, King said that Jon Gruden, the ex-Raiders and Buccaneers coach with the Super Bowl XXXVII ring, is no longer being considered as a candidate for the 49ers' head coaching job.
"The 49ers have not been trendsetters in anything recently, except losing," King said during Tuesday night's pre-game. "But I do think what they’re going to do this year is going to set an example for a lot of teams in this league to follow. ‘In’ are going to be the young, hungry, affordable, mostly assistant coaches in the NFL. ‘Out’ are going to be the been-there, done-that, won-Super-Bowl guys – Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden."
"A lot of people have said, ‘Hey, Gruden is a good candidate for this San Francisco job’. And I’m told flat-out he is not a candidate for the San Francisco job," King told America flat-out.
"Instead, a guy like Jim Harbaugh, the Stanford coach, who I’m told by several people around the league is going to be the hot guy this coming offseason," King said. "Harbaugh is a guy the 49ers are definitely interested in – and I think he is going to have interest in them."
It had been reported earlier Tuesday that 49ers owner Jed York preferred to see Gruden and Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh considered Plan A and Plan B in this hiring process.
If Peter King's report is correct, that means Jim Harbaugh is the new Plan A. And there basically is no Plan B.
Hey, what could possibly go wrong with a strategy like that?
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who is constantly updating his gambling odds on who will coach the 49ers next.