Same old: Coughlin, 69, meets with 49ers

Desperate times make for desperate measures, which might explain why former New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin met with the 49ers about their coaching position Tuesday.

Seems they need each other amid a sluggish search for Jim Tomsula’s replacement, now that Hue Jackson looks poised to either replace Coughlin in New York or sign with the Cleveland Browns.

The 69-year-old Coughlin was the seventh candidate known to speak with team officials since Tomsula’s dismissal. The others: deposed Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, longtime NFL head coach Mike Shanahan, Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, Buffalo Bills running back coach Anthony Lynn and Jackson, offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals. Nine were interviewed before Tomsula was chosen to succeed Jim Harbaugh last January.

Both Coughlin and Niners general manger Trent Baalke are disciples of Bill Parcells, the former Giants coach. Coughlin was the Giants’ wide receivers coach under Parcells for three seasons, while Baalke served as scout in New York while Parcells was there.

DeFilippo worked with Coughlin as offensive quality control coach for two seasons. If Coughlin were to come aboard, DeFilippo could join him as an offensive coach. Current Niners assistants Eric Mangini and Tony Sparano had similar jobs on Parcells’ staff earlier in their careers.

Meanwhile, 49ers offensive line coach Chris Foerster joined the staff of new Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase on Tuesday. And Koetter interviewed, as expected, for the Buccaneers’ head coaching position, vacated when Lovie Smith was fired shortly after Baalke asked permission from the Bucs to interview Koetter.

While Coughlin would give the Niners a dose of much-needed credibility and temporary stability, their marriage would seem to be a square peg in a round hole. Whereas Coughlin is an old-school coach who works best with veteran players, the Niners are among the youngest and least experienced teams in the league.

Coughlin is believed to be open to almost any offer, but he’s far more interested in teams that have immediate championship aspirations. In the midst of a major rebuild project, the 49ers come off a 5-11 season in which they were worse than their record talent-wise.

Baalke and CEO Jed York like to believe that the on-field product can be turned around quickly, as only three teams will have more money to spend in the free-agent market this summer. At the same time, Baalke and his staff have not fared well in the draft and free agency in recent years, and the result is a talent base that ranks in the lower third of the league.

More likely, the Niners will require a minimum of two years to build a competitive team, by which time Coughlin will have turned 71.

There’s also the matter of compensation. Because Coughlin remains under contract with the the Giants, the organization could hold out for a draft pick or picks in return, which the Niners may consider too steep a price for a short-term coach.

Coughlin guided the Giants to upset Super Bowl victories over the New England Patriots after the 2007 and 2011 seasons. In four seasons since then, his teams posted a 32-36 record and failed to qualify for the playoffs. They ranked among the bottom four teams in yards allowed in three of them.

This season, the Giants got off to an 0-2 start, during which Coughlin and veteran quarterback Eli Manning took much heat for questionable decisions late in games. The team regrouped to win five if its next seven games, a 30-27 shootout against the Niners among them, only to drop six of its final seven and finish last in a weak NFC East Division. Late in the season, Coughlin refused to remove volatile receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from a game in which he lost composure and engaged in several attacks on Carolina Panthers defensive backs.

As expected, Coughlin resigned under pressure shortly after the season but wouldn’t rule out a return to the sidelines.

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