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49ers' Coaching Search 'Embarrassing' to Garcia

February 02, 2003|From Associated Press

As the San Francisco 49ers' coaching search stretches into a third week with no clear favorite and no clear direction, fan/quarterback Jeff Garcia has seen enough.

"It's like we don't even have a plan now," Garcia told Associated Press after practice Saturday at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, where he's preparing for his third consecutive Pro Bowl appearance today. "To me, it's embarrassing.

"We're almost pulling names out of a hat right now. I don't know where we're going with it."

Garcia grew up in Gilroy, Calif., rooting for the 49ers' championship teams under Bill Walsh and George Seifert. But Garcia is distinctly underwhelmed by the candidates interviewed for the job so far -- and by the 49ers' haphazard, seemingly halfhearted search for the next coach in a proud lineage.

When told the next interview will be Monday with Chicago defensive coordinator Greg Blache, Garcia sighed.

"I don't even know who he is, and I don't know much about Chicago's defense," he said. "That's just another candidate that probably doesn't do a lot for our fans."

Though Garcia supports General Manager Terry Donahue's apparent interest in hiring a defensive guru, the quarterback would like to see decisive or compelling action taken by the 49ers -- and soon.

"It's just something that doesn't seem real organized right now," he said. "It's frustrating. Hopefully, it'll be resolved in the next couple of weeks, but the way it's going, I won't be surprised by whatever happens."

Except for Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, who dropped out last week, no candidate has prompted more than a flicker of interest from the six 49ers at the Pro Bowl.

"It doesn't seem like something that was planned out too well beforehand," said center Jeremy Newberry, another lifelong 49er fan playing in his second consecutive Pro Bowl. "They're definitely making it up as they go along, but hopefully they'll find somebody good."

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