Mike Holmgren’s name was floated as a potential head coach for the San Francisco 49ers this offseason, but rumors never materialized. The team chose to promote defensive line coach Jim Tomsula instead, which may or may not end in disaster.
Speaking with Rich Eisen on Friday, Holmgren shared his side of the story, via Pro Football Talk, and it revealed an interesting twist:
“I told my agent, ‘You know, the one I’d really kind of like to do is San Francisco,’ and so they reached out to the 49ers and essentially, I got a call back saying, ‘Nah, we’re going with a younger guy.’”
As many in this world have learned the hard way, younger isn’t always better.
However, it appears Holmgren, at the age of 67, is actually quite relieved in hindsight that he didn’t land the gig, citing the cross-country road trips and being away from his grandchildren.
49ers fans may not be happy to hear they missed out on one of the game’s greatest offensive minds due to an age discrepancy, though. Holmgren is a branch off the Bill Walsh coaching tree. He worked with Joe Montana, Steve Young and Brett Favre—all three became Hall of Fame quarterbacks—and wanted to work with Colin Kaepernick.
Sure, Tomsula is 20 years Holmgren’s junior, and nobody will argue his passion and energy for the game of football. But the man the 49ers hired can’t help Kaepernick develop into a Hall of Fame quarterback, or even come close.
Perhaps after the 2015 season is concluded, the 49ers may revisit the whole, “younger guy” philosophy.
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