The San Francisco 49ers dismissed head coach Chip Kelly on Sunday after he went 2-14 in his only season with the team. GM Trent Baalke also was fired, so this opening is a little tougher to forecast than most given that Baalke’s yet-to-be-hired replacement will be the one hiring a new coach. FOX Sports’ Peter Schrager put forth this preliminary list on Sunday’s “FOX NFL Kickoff.” (Candidates in alphabetical order -- text by Cameron DaSilva and Dan Graf)
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Tom Cable, Seahawks offensive line and assistant head coach
Cable went 17-27 as a head coach with the Raiders from 2008-10 and has been with the Seahawks since 2011. Seattle hasn’t given Cable much to work with on the offensive line, but he’s known for coaching up lesser talents.
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Vance Joseph, Dolphins defensive coordinator
Joseph almost got the Broncos’ head coaching job two years ago and likely will be near the top of their list again now that Gary Kubiak has retired. But he might be a good fit in San Francisco if the 49ers decide to go for a defensive mind. Joseph is credited for helping turn around a Dolphins defense that led them to the playoffs, and he likes his teams to get after the passer.
Anthony Lynn, Bills interim coach
Lynn was one of the first interviews for the 49ers last year before they hired Kelly. Because of that, he’s an obvious candidate again. No coach rose as quickly as Lynn did in 2016, going from running backs coach to offensive coordinator to interim head coach in the span of three months, so it’s clear he has what it takes. Of course, Lynn might stay in Buffalo on a permanent basis with the Bills potentially hiring him as their full-time head coach. He would instill a sense of accountability with his no-nonsense style.
Doug Marrone, Jaguars interim head coach
Marrone replaced Gus Bradley as Jacksonville’s head coach for the final two games of the season, but the Jaguars seem to be looking outside for a permanent replacement. Marrone went 15-17 as head coach of the Bills in 2013 and ’14 and strangely opted out of his contract after going 9-7 in his second year.
Josh McDaniels, Patriots offensive coordinator
The 49ers are an absolute mess, but McDaniels proved in the first four games of the season that he doesn't need an elite quarterback to win. He did so with Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett, and he could do the same with either Colin Kaepernick or Blaine Gabbert -- should they remain with the team. Maybe he even could lobby to bring Garoppolo to San Francisco with him via a trade.
Sean McDermott, Panthers defensive coordinator
McDermott has been with Carolina since 2011, helping lead the Panthers to their Super Bowl appearance last season. He was a candidate for the Bucs and Browns jobs a year ago before returning to Carolina.
Sean McVay, Redskins offensive coordinator
McVay is just 30 years old but gets a lot of the credit for transforming Kirk Cousins from a backup to a 4,000-yard passer in back-to-back seasons. He may not get his chance this year, but he will soon enough.
Mike Smith, Buccaneers defensive coordinator
Smith led the Falcons to four playoff appearances in seven years as the team’s head coach from 2008-14 and is on many teams’ candidate lists this offseason after helping rebuild Tampa Bay’s defense in his first year with the Bucs.